Paul Taylor: Creative Domain

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Paul Taylor: Creative Domain

Panel discussion with Paul Taylor dancers Michael Novak, Jami Rae Walker, and James Samson, moderated by Peter Pucci

Paul Taylor is one of the dance world’s most elusive and respected choreographers. For over 50 years he has only given glimpses into his creative process, this film is an unprecedented exploration of how Taylor creates a single dance. The dominant voice is Paul’s, between the guarded and unguarded moments we see him with new eyes and new understanding.


Panel discussion with Paul Taylor dancers Michael Novak, Jami Rae Walker, and James Samson, moderated by Peter Pucci
Tuesday, Oct. 24 2023, 7:00
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  • Michael Novak, a critically acclaimed Paul Taylor dancer from 2010 to 2019, became the second Artistic Director in the history of the Paul Taylor Dance Foundation in September 2018, having been chosen by Mr. Taylor to succeed him upon his death. Under Novak’s direction, the Paul Taylor Dance Company continues to be one of the world’s premier dance companies, with robust domestic and international touring; an ever-expanding repertory that includes the Taylor canon, historical masterpieces, and works he commissions; an annual engagement at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts; and several education programs to inspire the next generation of dancers and dance advocates. Raised in Rolling Meadows, Illinois, Novak is an alumnus of Columbia University’s School of General Studies, where he received his BA in Dance magna cum laude and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. He was the Keynote Speaker for the Class of 2020 and now serves as a member on their Board of Visitors.
  • Jami Rae Walker began her training in ballet and Graham techniques before studying intensively at Central PA Youth Ballet. This led immediately into dancing professionally with Miami City Ballet (under the artistic direction of Edward Villela), followed by Twyla Tharp, before a long career with Paul Taylor. She extended her education to develop a wellness program for dancers ( while continuing to stage Taylor dances, teach ballet and modern dance, as well as design interiors.

  • James Samson was born and raised in Jefferson City, MO where he was always active in theater and dance. After receiving a BFA in Dance from Missouri State University, James began performing professionally and joined the Paul Taylor Dance Company in 2001. After a wonderful 17 year career, James then changed studies to receive an Associates degree in Interior Design.

  • Peter Pucci is a Lucille Lortel Award winner and Drama Desk Nominate for Outstanding choreography for Queens Boulevard (the musical) and received a Drama Desk Award for his work on The Orphans' Home Cycle. Peter was a principle dancer and rehearsal director with Pilobolus Dance Theatre for nine years. Recent commissions include the New Mexico Ballet Company, Texas Christian University’s Dance Company and University of Richmond’s Dance Company. Peter will be creating a new work at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. He is the Executive Director for the Carole Cascio Fund For Mind Movement Dance Connections. Peter has also directed two dance films, Swag n' Bach: A Path To Choreography and In the Garden that premiered at the Jacob Burns Film Center. Peter has been the Dance on Film moderator since the series began.

This film is part of the Dance on Film series.

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