The College of Arts + Architecture is pleased to announce that The Wells Fargo Foundation will sponsor a unique project led by the UNC Charlotte Department of Dance. The project, Tracing Modern Dance, is centered on the reconstruction of Tracer, a lost work by modern dance choreographer Paul Taylor, and includes the first-ever reconstruction residency by the Paul Taylor 2 Dance Company and the first local performances of the Paul Taylor Dance Company in 15 years.
Tracing Modern Dance is the culmination of an 18-month research project by Associate Professor of Dance Kim Jones. Renowned modern dance choreographer Paul Taylor has given Jones the unique opportunity to reconstruct a seminal early work not performed or seen in more than 50 years. Tracer, choreographed by Taylor in 1962 with set and costumes by the artist Robert Rauschenberg, does not benefit from the existence of video or audio rehearsal or performance records. Jones will complete her scholarly reconstruction in September during a three-week residency at UNC Charlotte with the Taylor 2 Dance Company. The residency will culminate in the “re-premiere” of the reconstructed Tracer in a public performance on September 30 at UNC Charlotte.
During the residency, the Taylor 2 dancers and rehearsal director Ruth Andrien, a former Paul Taylor Dance Company member, will give masterclasses for students at UNC Charlotte, Central Piedmont Community College (CPCC), Davidson College, Northwest School of the Arts, and Charlotte Ballet. UNC Charlotte students will learn Tracer and continue to perform the piece in local high schools throughout the coming school year. The UNC Charlotte Department of Dance has also received a 2016 Art Works grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) in the amount of $10,000 to support the reconstruction residency.
In April 2017, the project will end with performances by the Paul Taylor Dance Company, the company’s first appearance in Charlotte in 15 years. Supported by the gift from the Wells Fargo Foundation, the performances will be jointly presented by UNC Charlotte, CPCC, and Charlotte Ballet at the Halton Theater on the CPCC Central Campus, April 7 and 8, as part of the Sensoria Festival of the Arts.
The Wells Fargo gift of $50,000 marks the second time Wells Fargo has supported a UNC Charlotte Department of Dance project. In January 2013, Wells Fargo Private Bank sponsored the first Charlotte performances by the Martha Graham Dance Company in more than 30 years. Those concerts featured the premiere of Kim Jones’s reconstruction of the lost Graham solo, Imperial Gesture (1935), and a performance by UNC Charlotte students of Graham’s Panorama (1935).
“Wells Fargo is committed to supporting the arts and arts education,” said Jay Everette, Community Affairs Manager at Wells Fargo. “We are pleased to be the presenting sponsor of this multi-faceted project, which will bring to life a lost dance work of historical importance, inspire young dancers with expert teaching, and offer Charlotte audiences the opportunity to see one of the finest dance companies in the world.”
“We value tremendously Wells Fargo’s partnership in this significant research and education project,” said Ken Lambla, Dean of the College of Arts + Architecture. “As with their support of the Martha Graham Dance Company performances in 2013, this generous gift allows for the good work of our College to reach beyond the walls of the university and into the greater community.”
Tracer is the 12th and final work created by Taylor and Rauschenberg, whose partnership began in the mid-1950s. It is for four dancers and premiered in Paris in April 1962, followed by its New York debut in November. The Taylor 2 Dance Company will perform Jones’s reconstructed Tracer in New York City in December 2016 at the 92nd Street Y.
In addition to Tracer, the September 30 performance of the Taylor 2 Dance Company will include Company B and Junction. The performance will take place at 7:30 pm in the Belk Theater in Robinson Hall on the UNC Charlotte Campus. Tickets are $18, $12 for UNC Charlotte faculty and staff, $10 for seniors, and $8 for all students.