DANCE NEWS: Lauren Lovette is Paul Taylor Dance Company's First Resident Choreographer
Artistic Director Michael Novak Invites Lovette to Start 5-Year Program
Paul Taylor Dance Company (PTDC) Artistic Director Michael Novak appointed Lauren Lovette as the first Resident Choreographer for the Paul Taylor Dance Company. The five- year residency was established for a choreographer to create new works for the Company and to become fully immersed in the growth of its artists. Choreographer and former New York City Ballet Principal Lauren Lovette has been invited by Mr. Novak to assume this role.
"My vision is to expand our commissioning efforts to invest in sustained and dedicated relationships between dancer makers and dancers. Creating a Resident Choreographer position allows us to ensure that we are both making new work, cultivating long-term creative relationships, and supporting the sustained growth of choreographers and our dancers," said Mr. Novak. “I invited Lauren to take on this challenge because her work possesses a great deal of craft, musicality and beauty, and there is also a rebellious side to her that reminds me of Paul Taylor. It was an easy decision to ask her to become our first Resident Choreographer."
The creation of the Resident Choreographer position expands the Company’s commissioning efforts to support new choreographic voices and create long-term relationships between dancers and dance makers. In addition to the work of the Resident Choreographer, Mr. Novak will continue to commission other choreographers for the Taylor Company Commissions program on a yearly basis.
Ms. Lovette is the first choreographer commissioned by Mr. Novak to create a work for the Company that will premiere at the City Center Dance Festival on March 24, 2022. She will continue to create works for PTDC as its Resident Choreographer.
"Being selected as the first Resident Choreographer for the Paul Taylor Company is a deeply personal honor for me. Throughout my career as a ballerina with NYCB, I shared a theater at Lincoln Center with the Taylor Company and would marvel at the fearlessness, agility, diversity of feeling, and absolute abandon that Paul Taylor's choreography and dancers emulated so clearly from our stage,” said Ms. Lovette. “From the very first day of working with the dancers I felt a responsibility beyond myself to uphold the legacy of a genius to unite a room of experienced and seasoned dancers with brand-new budding talent. We are making new dances in Mr. Taylor’s honor and forging forward a bright path of innovation all while carving the dance floor with his credo pressed forward alongside our brand-new unfolding truths."
Lauren Lovette personifies the intertwining of dance and choreography, moving seamlessly from one to the other. Her work has been commissioned and performed by leading dance companies and festivals, including the New York City Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, the Vail International Dance Festival, American Ballet Theatre Studio Company, the Paul Taylor Dance Company, Nevada Ballet Theatre, as well as a self-produced evening entirely of her own work in which she also danced, Why It Matters.
She began creating dance as a ballet student, for a 2007 choreographic workshop showing at the School of American Ballet (SAB). Another ballet, for the 2008 workshop, was soon followed by her being selected to create a work for the 2009 New York Choreographic Institute.
In 2016, Lovette, then a relatively new principal dancer, was asked to choreograph her first piece, that then premiered at the New York City Ballet Fall Fashion Gala. In 2017, she choreographed for the Vail International Dance Festival, the NYCB Fall Season Gala, and the American Ballet Theatre Studio Company. She was awarded the Virginia B. Toulmin Fellowship at the Center for Ballet and the Arts at New York University in fall of 2018, and a year later created a work for the 2019 Fall Fashion Gala at NYCB. Her work at NYCB is noteworthy, forging a path for other female choreographers in an area of dance that has notably been predominantly male.
Born in Thousand Oaks, CA, Lovette began studying ballet at the age of 11 at the Cary Ballet Conservatory in Cary, NC. She enrolled at SAB as a full-time student in 2006. In October 2009, Ms. Lovette became an apprentice with NYCB and joined the Company as a member of the corps de ballet in September 2010. Promoted to soloist in February 2013 and to principal dancer in June 2015, she stepped down from her position at the company in 2021 to embark on a career devoted to dance and choreography in more equal measure. Ms. Lovette received the Clive Barnes Award for dance in December 2012 and was the 2012-2013 recipient of the Janice Levin Award.
The position of Resident Choreographer has been catalyzed by a generous gift by Stephen Kroll Reidy, who has worked with PTDC to create The Dancemaker Fund - a financial reserve dedicated exclusively to the generation of new dance works on the Taylor Company.
"I am exceedingly grateful to Stephen Kroll Reidy, the founder of the Dancemaker Fund who is providing the financial support to invest in these dancemakers,” Mr. Novak continued. “It is a testament to the importance of new work and our collective passion to continue a new era of modern dance collaboration in our Foundation's history."
Leadership funding provided by Stephen Kroll Reidy. Lincoln Center Season made possible by Marjorie S. Isaac. Major support provided by The SHS Foundation, Jody and John Arnhold, the Howard Gilman Foundation, and The Shubert Foundation. Additional major funding provided by S&P Global, The Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation, and The Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation. Support for the creation of new work provided by Rockefeller Brothers Fund. Public support provided by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council, and by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature. Additional public support provided by the National Endowment for the Arts in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Paul Taylor Dance Company gratefully acknowledges the estates of Harlan Morse Blake and Mary J. Osborn for their transformational gifts.