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As part of an ongoing celebration of its 150th anniversary, Wilson College hosts a performance by the Taylor 2 Dance Company at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 21, at the Capitol Theatre. Tickets are on sale now for the performance, which is open to the community.

Legendary American choreographer Paul Taylor created the six-member Taylor 2 Dance Company and the larger Paul Taylor Dance Company. Taylor, who died in 2018, is regarded as a modern dance visionary.

Taylor 2 Dance Company performs Company B. (Photo courtesy Whitney Browne)

The two New York based companies perform Taylor’s masterworks and offer dance concerts, masterclasses and lectures/demonstrations all over the world.

The performance at the Capitol is part of Paul Taylor: The Celebration Tour, which pays tribute to its founder.

Local Performances

The Chambersburg performances include three masterworks from Tayor’s collection. Airs, set to music by Handel, calls to mind the wind with movement reminiscent of gusts and eddies.

In Company B, Taylor created a quintessential piece of Americana as he explored the turbulent era of the 1940s. Set to music performed by the Andrews Sisters, the dance incorporates elements of familiar social dances (the lindy, jitterbug, and polka) in a work exploring the realities of relationships during World War II.

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Esplanade, an exuberant piece set to music from J.S. Bach, incorporates everyday movement in a visually exhilarating tour-de-force

Wilson 150th anniversary
Taylor 2 Dance Company performs Airs. (Photo courtesy Whitney Browne)

After the performance, Wilson College Master of Fine Arts Program Director Joshua Legg will lead a question-and-answer session with Taylor 2 Director Cathy McCann and the dancers.

Tickets are $30 for adults, $18 for students and $12 for children under 12. Group rates are also available. Purchase tickets now by calling the theater box office at 717-263-0202 or visiting its website: Purchasing tickets at the door the evening of the performance is an option, depending on availability.

Wilson 150th anniversary
Taylor 2 Dance Company performs Esplanade. (Photo courtesy Whitney Browne)

The Philosophy Behind Taylor 2

Leggier said the Taylor 2 company was established to ensure that performances could be seen all over the world. The company wanted large numbers of Taylor fans to be able to see his work, regardless of economic considerations and the logistical limitations of non-traditional venues, according to Legg.

“Paul Taylor, who helped forge modern dance during his 64- year career, was one of the greatest American dancemakers and his works encompass an unparalleled range of content, style, and dynamics,” Legg said.

The Celebration Tour is a multi-year, global celebration featuring more than 20 masterpieces spanning seven decades. Developed by Paul Taylor Dance Company Artistic Director Michael Novak, it pays tribute to Taylor. Novak describes Taylor as “the last pantheon of choreographers who defined the distinctly American art of modern dance” over the course of his life.

“Taylor was hailed as ‘the master of light and dark’ for good reason. His repertoire of 147 dances covered an unprecedented range. There were dances that took an unflinching look at war, depravity, and death. Other dances were very funny. And many reminded us of the poignancy of uninhibited love and hope,” said Novak. “The Celebration Tour is an unprecedented opportunity for audiences and students to connect with Paul Taylor’s history like never before.”

For more information about the Taylor 2 performance, contact Joshua Legg at 717-264-2781.

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