Paul Taylor Dance Company: A Guided Tour (PHOTOS)

The surviving genius of the second generation of American modern dance, Paul Taylor, 80, still goes into the dance studio and creates two new works a year. Similar to Merce Cunningham, who passed away at 90 in 2009, Taylor danced in the troupe of modern-dance pioneer Martha Graham early in his career. Many young audience members don' t appreciate how enduring and relevant his choreography remains today. The Taylor repertory ranges across genre -- from dramatic mise-en-scene, to magical music interpretations, to social satire, slapstick and comedy.

Making it all happen are the Paul Taylor dancers. Finely trained instruments attuned to the maestro's needs, Taylor dancers combine lyricism, fleet-footedness, and a child-like, direct way of speaking with their bodies. Here's a photo tour that seeks to illustrate what makes them so special.

Paul Taylor Dancers

Debra Levine blogs about dance, film, music and urban culture on arts•meme.