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By Jennifer Stahl
Often, dancers don’t feel like they choose this career—it chooses them. For better or worse, dance was their only option, an outcome predestined regardless of any obstacles along the way.
Choreographer Paul Taylor may never have imagined any life other than dance. But he didn’t foresee his company celebrating its 60th anniversary. “I didn’t think about it,” he tells writer Joseph Carman in “Taylor Made.” “I live from day to day. I didn’t care about the future. You hope for the best.” Yet it’s clear that Taylor can’t help but see dance everywhere around him: in the insects he played with as a kid, in the gestures of someone’s conversation, in the windows of a New York apartment building. On the cusp of his company’s diamond anniversary, both Taylor and his star performer Michael Trusnovec sat down with Dance Magazine to candidly discuss the company and its future. Taylor may be 84 this year, but, as Carman notes, “he hasn’t lost his prickliness, drive or sardonic sense of humor.”
His success shows just how far a passion for movement can take you. Check out our annual auditions guide to search for the jobs and training opportunities that inspire you. And you’ll find tips on audition outfits, etiquette advice and a few surprising strategies that can make the difference between booking a Broadway gig and getting a polite “Thank you for coming.” Our education editor Jenny Dalzell also goes behind the scenes at a tryout for up-and-coming contemporary ballet troupe Whim W’Him, with an insider’s perspective straight from artistic director Olivier Wevers.
Whether or not you nail the next callback, it helps to remember what you’re doing it all for. As American Ballet Theatre soloist Sarah Lane writes in this month’s Why I Dance, “What dancers experience goes beyond what words can express. To put it feebly, it is the ability to set your soul free in a moment that can’t be captured or replicated. It’s being real and vulnerable enough to share who you are as a human being. It’s believing that imperfection can still create something beautiful.”
Editor in Chief