Taylor 2 Dance Company returns to the islands

Taylor 2 Dance Company, a branch of the New York-based Paul Taylor Dance Company, is returning to the San Juans for an evening of joyous energy.

“We are performing four pieces of Mr. Taylor’s and it’s some of his best work. Each one is whole unto itself and represents a different facet of his choreography,” said company member Lee Duveneck.

The San Juan Island show is at 7:30 p.m., Sunday, April 2 at San Juan Community Theatre. A free dance class will be held that day at 2 p.m. Sign up for the class at the box office. For tickets, visit sjctheatre.org.

The Orcas Center show is at 6:30 p.m., Friday, March 31. A reception to meet dancers will follow the performance and a free class for advanced dancers will be held from 5 to 6 p.m. that evening. Tickets are available at www.orcascenter.org.

The Lopez performance is at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, April 1 at the Lopez Center for Community and the Arts. Tickets are at Blossom Organic Grocery, Paper Scissors on the Rock, Lopez Bookshop and www.lopezcenter.org. A free dance workshop will be at the center that day at 12:30 p.m.

World-renowned dancer and choreographer Taylor started his 16-member New York troupe in 1954. He is credited with shaping the art of American modern dance. In 1993, Taylor established the six-member Taylor 2 to ensure that his works could be seen by audiences at smaller venues all over the world. Lopez Center, Orcas Center and San Juan Community Theatre are three such venues that would otherwise be unable to see Taylor’s work.

For the San Juans’ tour, Duveneck is joined by Alana Allende, Rei Akazawa, Amanda Stevenson, Princeton McCurtain and Johnny Vorsteg. The professional dancers are chosen for their particular gift for his style. Taylor, who is 86, still choreographs two works per year.

“No two works of his are ever alike,” said Duveneck.

The program opens with “Junction” to music by J. S. Bach and is followed by “Duet From Roses” to a piece by Heinrich Baermann. In “The Uncommitted,” the dancers explore the fascinating and dramatic music of Estonian composer, Arvo Pärt. Taylor 2 will again be performing the very popular “Company B.” This suite of songs of the Andrews Sisters juxtaposes the high spirits of the 1940s with the sacrifices many made during World War II.

“‘Company B’ tends to leave people wanting to jitterbug out of the theater,” said Duveneck. “We are very excited to come. It’s such a beautiful place to visit and the serenity of it always inspires us.”

For more information, visit sjctheatre.org,