Lauren Lovette personifies the intertwining of dance and choreography, moving seamlessly from one to the other. Her work has been commissioned and performed by leading dance companies and festivals, including the New York City Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, the Vail International Dance Festival, American Ballet Theatre Studio Company, the Paul Taylor Dance Company, Nevada Ballet Theatre, as well as a self-produced evening entirely of her own work in which she also danced, Why It Matters.
She began creating dance as a ballet student, for a 2007 choreographic workshop showing at the School of American Ballet (SAB). Another ballet, for the 2008 workshop, was soon followed by her being selected to create a work for the 2009 New York Choreographic Institute.
In 2016, Lovette, then a relatively new principal dancer, was asked to choreograph her first piece, that then premiered at the New York City Ballet Fall Fashion Gala. In 2017, she choreographed for the Vail International Dance Festival, the NYCB Fall Season Gala, and the American Ballet Theatre Studio Company. She was awarded the Virginia B. Toulmin Fellowship at the Center for Ballet and the Arts at New York University in fall of 2018, and a year later created a work for the 2019 Fall Fashion Gala at NYCB. Her work at NYCB is noteworthy, forging a path for other female choreographers in an area of dance that has notably been predominantly male.
Born in Thousand Oaks, CA, Lovette began studying ballet at the age of 11 at the Cary Ballet Conservatory in Cary, NC. She enrolled at SAB as a full-time student in 2006. In October 2009, Ms. Lovette became an apprentice with NYCB and joined the Company as a member of the corps de ballet in September 2010. Promoted to soloist in February 2013 and to principal dancer in June 2015, she stepped down from her position at the company in 2021 to embark on a career devoted to dance and choreography in more equal measure. Ms. Lovette received the Clive Barnes Award for dance in December 2012 and was the 2012-2013 recipient of the Janice Levin Award.
Bettie de Jong was born in Sumatra, Indonesia, and in 1946 moved to Holland, where she continued her early training in dance and mime. Her first professional engagement was with the Netherlands Pantomime Company. After coming to New York City to study at the Martha Graham School, she performed with the Graham Company, the Pearl Lang Company, John Butler and Lucas Hoving, and was seen on CBS- TV with Rudolf Nureyev in a duet choreographed by Paul Taylor. Ms. de Jong joined the Taylor Company in 1962. Noted for her strong stage presence and long line, she was Mr. Taylor’s favorite dancing partner and, as Rehearsal Director, was his surrogate in the studio and on tour for more than 40 years. In 2019, she received the 2019 Balasaraswati/Joy Anne Dewey Beinecke Endowed Chair for Distinguished Teaching Award from American Dance Festival for her substantial contributions to the sustainment of the Taylor legacy.
Cathy McCann was a member of the Paul Taylor Dance Company for 13 years. Among the 18 dances Mr. Taylor made on her were Mercuric Tidings, Brandenburgs, Musical Offering and Sunset. She was featured in five Taylor television specials, including the 1991 Emmy Award-winning Speaking in Tongues. In 1991, Mikhail Baryshnikov invited her to join the White Oak Dance Project, where she performed works by Mark Morris and Lar Lubovitch. Ms. McCann has staged Taylor dances for American Ballet Theatre, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, San Francisco Ballet, Paris Opera Ballet and Washington Ballet, among others, and her own choreography has been presented at New York City Center. She has been a faculty member of Adelphi University, Barnard College and Hofstra University, and has taught at the American Dance Festival and Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival. She was appointed Director of Taylor 2 in March 2019, and became Rehearsal Director in May 2020.
Carolyn is married to former Paul Taylor dancer, Robert Kahn. They have 2 adult children, Sandra and Vitali and a grandson, Gunnie.
Carolyn Adams in West of Eden, photo by Ken Duncan.