Dance icon Paul Taylor keeps sending his junior troupe - Taylor 2 - to New Orleans. Getting dance before a national public is part of his mission, and that fits with the style of Marigny Opera House, the downtown venue that will present this energetic troupe of six young dancers, March 5, 6 and 7.
When Taylor 2 performed in New Orleans in 2014, the troupe earned rave reviews.
In an exclusive interview, Taylor discussed why he likes to send his compact touring ensemble to small halls across the country.
"There are advantages to a small house and a small company," Taylor said. "It adds to the immediacy of a live show to watch from the edge of the stage, to see the muscles and eyelashes, hear the footfalls and maybe get sprayed with sweat. That's not always my favorite spot, but it's a good place to be if you think this will be like a performance on television."
The Marigny Opera House, which seats about 300 people, fits the bill for dance lovers who want to get close to the action. It has developed a sterling reputation for music, theater and dance presentations - and it recently started a wonderful dance troupe of it's own.
Dave Hurlbert of Marigny Opera House said the return visit by Taylor 2 dancers is a big deal for his fledgling troupe.
"Our dancers will be taking company classes from the rehearsal director of Taylor 2 - and dancers from both troupes will be sitting in at each other's rehearsals," Hurlbert said. "We like the idea of cementing a relationship with Paul Taylor. Lots of people view him as America's greatest living choreographer and we're hoping this will mean that our New Orleans dancers can present his repertoire in the future."
Taylor 2 in New Orleans
What: The junior touring company of dance legend Paul Taylor will perform three nights running at an intimate Marigny venue.
Three shows: March 5, 8 p.m. - Images, Dust, Company B; March 6, 8 p.m. -
Esplanade; March 7, 8 p.m. -
Where: Marigny Opera House, 725 St. Ferdinand St.
Admission: $30/ $20 Students & Seniors. Available online at MarignyOperaHouse.org, or at the box office each performance night.
More: The Taylor 2 residency will also include open master classes for dancers: March 3-7, 10 a.m., and an evening class, March 4, 6:30 p.m. ($15 per class).