The Artistic Director of the Paul Taylor Dance Company (PTDC), Michael Novak, just announced the appointment of Lauren Lovette as the company’s first Resident Choreographer, a five year position. This is the first such appointment since the death of Artistic Director and Choreographer Paul Taylor in August of 2018. Lovette’s new work will premiere at the City Center Dance Festival on March 24, 2022.

Before launching his company, Paul Taylor collaborated with American artist Robert Rauschenberg to present his first work Jack and the Beanstalk in New York City on May 30, 1954. The work was set to music by Hy Gubernick and included Taylor and five other dancers. Over his lifetime, Taylor choreographed 147 dances and his company is now considered one of America’s arts treasure. In 2014 Taylor began presenting his work alongside historic masterworks by Trisha Brown Isadora Duncan, Merce Cunningham, Martha Graham, and Doris Humphrey as well as new commissions by choreographers invited to work with the Company including Amy Hall Garner, Kyle Abraham, Pam Tanowitz, Doug Varone and others.

Following Taylor’s death the resident program was established for choreographers to not only create new works for the company, but to also become involved in the growth of the company’s artists.

“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.” Mr. Novak will continue to commission other choreographers for the Taylor Company Commissions program on a yearly basis.

Lauren Lovette - Photo by Nisian Hughes

Lauren Lovette – Photo by Nisian Hughes

Lovette was born in Thousand Oaks, CA., studied ballet at the Cary Ballet Conservatory in Cary, NC., and began choreographing at an early age. Her first  work was created for a 2007 choreographic workshop showing at the School of American Ballet (SAB), and her second piece appeared in 2008. In 2009 a work of Lovette’s was selected to be presented at the New York Choreographic Institute. From there Lovette went on to become a principal dancer with the New York City Ballet (NYCB) from 2010 to 2021 earning both the Janice Levin Award and the Clive Barnes Award for dance.

During her tenure with NYCB, Lovette continued to earn recognition as a choreographer, creating dances for NYCB, American Ballet Theatre, PTDC and others while collaborating with musicians, poets, and fashion designers such as Fernando Garcia and Laura Kim of Oscar de la Renta/MONSE. Lovette self-produced an evening featuring entirely her own work titled Why It Matters, and she was Artist-in-Residence for Damian Woetzel’s prestigious Vail Dance Festival in 2019.

Laurel Lovette - Photo by Nisian Hughes

Lauren Lovette – Photo by Nisian Hughes

“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.”

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.”


To learn more about Lauren Lovette, please visit her website.

To learn more about the Paul Taylor Dance Company and the Taylor School, please visit their website.

Written by Jeff Slayton for LA Dance Chronicle with information provided by Lisa Labrado.

Featured image: Lauren Lovette in rehearsal with Paul Taylor Dance Company – Photo by Erin Baiano