Paul Taylor Dance Company brings iconic pieces to Quick stage
Connecticut native Laura Halzack has been dancing all her life — or at least as far back as she can remember.
It was at age 4 that Halzack started taking dance lessons, “along with my best friend of the time and a whole group of little girls,” whose mothers thought it would be a healthy, fun activity, Halzack said in a telephone chat from the Brooklyn, N.Y., home she shares with her husband.
“As it turned out, my friend dropped out. But I was loving it and took to it naturally,” she said, thanks in part to a “certain ability to focus” on the task at hand and a “willingness to share a sense of imagination with others.”
Halzack, who was raised in Suffield, returns to her home state on Friday, Jan. 26, as a member of the much acclaimed Manhattan-based Paul Taylor Dance Company, performing at the Quick Center for the Arts in Fairfield.
On the program will be “Roses” (1985), “Continuum” (choreographed by Lila York, 2017), and “Piazzolla Caldera” (1997), featuring music by Astor Piazzolla and Jerzy Peterburshsky. She will be featured in “Continuum,” an ensemble piece, and also will dance in the “Piazzolla” work.
Quick Center for the Arts, Fairfield University, 200 Barlow Road entrance to campus. Friday, Jan. 26, 8 p.m. $50, $40, $30 for center members, $5 Fairfield University students. 203-254-4010, 877-ARTS-396, bit.ly/2FSavzy
“Considered by many to be America’s greatest living choreographer, Paul Taylor (born 1930) is a founder and towering icon of America’s indigenous art form of modern dance,” said Quick officials in a news release, noting that Taylor is a recipient of the National Medal of the Arts, recognized as a Kennedy Center Honors recipient and won an Emmy award for his achievements in choreography. Before founding his troupe in 1954, Taylor performed in the companies of such dance giants as Merce Cunningham, Martha Graham and George Balanchine.
“Whether you’re a fan of ballet or modern dance, or just curious to dip your toe into the world of dance, this is one company everyone should experience at least once,” said the Quick Center.
Or as New York Magazine describes the company: “One of the most intelligent, stylish, and physically magnificent dance troupes we have.”
In her quest to develop further as a dancer, Halzack would go on to study at the School of the Hartford Ballet and the Conservatory of Dance at Purchase College. Thinking she might want to eventually go on to get a doctorate ( and become a college professor), she graduated summa cum laude with a degree in American history from the University of New Hampshire in 2003.
“I quit dancing for about two-and-a-half years” during college. “I had become so focused on dance that I became burned out. But after college, I realized that I greatly missed dance” — and so she began the journey back to her first love.
She then studied at the Hartt School in Hartford, and at the Taylor School’s 2004 Summer Intensive, followed by two years of study at the Taylor School, before joining the Paul Taylor Dance Company in the summer of 2006, which has grown to 18 members.
Halzack said she continues to be energized by Taylor’s world view: “I love the humanity, the human quality and the fluid way” his choreography evolves. His works “are grounded ... very rooted in the earth.”
Taylor’s philosophy mirrors her own, she said. “Dance is part of who I am. I just don’t dance; I am a dancer. Movement is in my body and my spirit.”
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