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POSTCARDS: Lisa Borres of Paul Taylor Dance Company Brings Us Backstage of Lincoln Center

POSTCARDS: Lisa Borres of Paul Taylor Dance Company Brings Us Backstage of Lincoln Center

By Lisa Borres

Published on November 11, 2023

All the News That's Fit to Print from "Jersey"

Header picture: Austin Kelly & Lisa Borres in Amy Hall Garner's "Somewhere in the Middle." Photo by Whitney Browne

Dear Dance Enthusiast,

Greetings from Lincoln Center! My name is Lisa Borres, a dancer at Paul Taylor Dance Company. I’m writing from “Jersey” as we call it, also known as the furthest dressing room on the second floor of the Koch Theater.

Every year, “Jersey” is decorated with streamers, good luck charms and usually pictures of cats (Christina Lynch-Markham’s doing, of course).  It’s easy to find “Jersey”, just follow the music blasting down the hallway, typically that of Beyoncé.

Paul Taylor Company in rehearsal. Photo courtesy of Paul Taylor Dance Company

Our dressing room stations are all perfectly set up with mountains of makeup laid out on top of handmade placemats, lovingly made by Eran Bugge's mom. It’s a special gift you receive for your first performance with the company.  I spend time organizing all of my “Merde” cards and gifts I’ve gotten from the dancers, taping them up on my mirror so I can their words of encouragement as I get ready. A tradition I’ve really come to love at Taylor.

After the last spritz of hairspray and setting spray (with one of my dressing room-mates screaming, “Set it and forget it!”) I make my way down to the stage, ready to warm up and review tonight’s choreography. We don’t have company class before shows, so there are yoga mats, ballet barres, foam rollers and resistance bands all over the stage. With headphones in ears, we’re studying all the great songs Paul chose to choreograph to, and within the hour, will be played live by the Orchestra of St Luke’s. The synergy of live music with live dance is an intimacy I am so lucky to feel every night.  Warming up alongside the musicians in the pit, tuning their instruments, is one of my favorite rituals during our season.

Lisa Borres (jumping), Jake Vincent, Kristin Draucker, Alex Clayton, Christina Lynch Markham, Lee Duveneck and Jessica Ferretti (lying down, left to right) in Paul Taylor's Esplanade. Photo: Whitney Browne

Once I hear our Stage Manager yell, “15 MINUTES!” I race back upstairs (keeping in mind how far “Jersey” really is) and get into costume.

It’s never lost on me how special this place is, having attended LaGuardia High School down the block, having worked at the lululemon that was once across the street for years, and now I’m here running around backstage of the Koch Theater, about to perform a masterwork by the dance maker, Paul Taylor. The word gratitude doesn’t even cut it.

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