The Paul Taylor 2 Dance Company is on campus through September 30 for the company’s first-ever “reconstruction residency” in the Department of Dance. Capping an 18-month research project led by Associate Professor of Dance Kim Jones, the residency brings the Taylor 2 dancers from New York City to Charlotte to teach students in master classes and to bring back to life a work not seen in more than 50 years. That dance, Tracer, will be performed in a concert on September 30 at 7:30 pm in the Anne R. Belk Theater in Robinson Hall.
Paul Taylor choreographed Tracer, his 29th work, in 1962, directly before Aureole, which launched his career as one of the seminal figures in modern dance. It is one of 13 dances that Taylor created with the great American artist Robert Rauschenberg (who designed the set and costumes) in an artistic partnership that began in the 1950s. Tracer premiered in Paris in April 1962 and was last performed in 1964.
Tracer is one of seven works by Taylor for which no complete record of the choreography exists; it was never captured on film. The collaborative research process to reconstruct the work was recently covered by The New York Times. A panel discussion on September 30 at 6:30 pm in Robinson Hall will elaborate on the project.
During the residency, the Taylor 2 dancers and Rehearsal Director Ruth Andrien, a former Paul Taylor Dance Company member, will give master classes for students at UNC Charlotte, Central Piedmont Community College (CPCC), Davidson College, Northwest School of the Arts, and Charlotte Ballet. UNC Charlotte dance students will also learn Tracer, and they will perform the reconstructed work at UNC Charlotte and in high schools throughout the community over the coming year.
In addition to the “re-premiere” of Tracer, the Taylor 2 Dance Company concert on September 30 features the company in two additional works by Paul Taylor, Junction and Company B, as well as an ensemble of UNC Charlotte students in a section of Taylor’s Esplanade. Tickets are $18 for general audience members, $12 for faculty and staff, $10 for seniors, and $8 for students.
The Taylor 2 Dance Company residency and public performance have been made possible with funding from the UNC Charlotte College of Arts + Architecture, Department of Dance, and Office of Academic Affairs and with grants from the Wells Fargo Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.