MICHAEL TRUSNOVEC hails from Yaphank, New York. He began dancing at age six, and attended the Long Island High School for the Arts. In 1992 he was honored by the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts (youngARTS) and was named a Presidential Scholar in the Arts. In 1996 he received a B.F.A. in Dance Performance from Southern Methodist University in Dallas. Professionally, he danced with Taylor 2 from 1996 to 1998, and has appeared with Cortez & Co. Contemporary/Ballet, and CorbinDances. Fall 1998 marked his debut with the Paul Taylor Dance Company. Mr. Trusnovec received a 2006 New York Dance and Performance Award (The Bessie) for his Body of Work during the 2005-06 Taylor season.
ANNMARIA MAZZINI began dancing in Allentown, Pennsylvania under the direction of Frances Evers, and later earned her B.F.A. at the Meadows School of the Arts at Southern Methodist University. While working as an art model for painters and sculptors, she studied at The Taylor School and in 1995 joined Taylor 2. She has been a guest artist with CorbinDances, the Amy Marshall Dance Company, Kim Gibilisco Dances, Karla Wolfangle, and Juliette Soucie. Ms. Mazzini teaches modern dance on the road and at The Taylor School, choreographs and performs her own work, and is an accomplished jewelry designer and creator of AMulets, seen at www.annmaria.com. She made her debut with the Paul Taylor Dance Company at the 1999 American Dance Festival in Durham, North Carolina.
AMY YOUNG grew up in Washington state. She spent her senior year of high school studying at the Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan prior to entering The Juilliard School in New York, where she earned a B.F.A. in 1996. She joined Taylor 2 in August of that year. Ms. Young enjoys teaching and has been on the faculty of Alaska Dance Theatre in Anchorage, Perry-Mansfield Performing Arts Camp, Metropolitan Ballet of Tacoma and The Taylor School. She also dances with TAKE Dance Company. Ms. Young made her debut with the Paul Taylor Dance Company at the Paris Opera House in January 2000.
ROBERT KLEINENDORST is originally from Roseville, Minnesota. He graduated from Luther College in 1995 with a Bachelor of Arts in voice and dance. After moving to New York, he danced with the Gail Gilbert Dance Ensemble, and Cortez & Company. Mr. Kleinendorst also performed with Anna Sokolow’s Players Projects at The Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. After having studied at The Taylor School since 1996, he joined Taylor 2 in August 1998. Mr. Taylor invited Mr. Kleinendorst to join the Paul Taylor Dance Company in Fall 2000.
JAMES SAMSON is a native of Jefferson City, Missouri where he began his dance training at age eight. He received a B.F.A. in dance with a minor in business from Southwest Missouri State University, then went on to study as a scholarship student with the David Parsons New Arts Festival, Pilobolous Intensive Workshop, and the Alvin Ailey Summer Intensive where he was selected to perform in Paul Taylor’s Airs set by Linda Kent. Mr. Samson has danced for Charleston Ballet Theatre, Omaha Theatre Company Ballet, Omega Dance Company, New England Ballet, Connecticut Ballet and the Amy Marshall Dance Company. He joined the Paul Taylor Dance Company in February 2001.
MICHELLE FLEET grew up in the Bronx and began her dance training at age four. She attended Ballet Hispanico of New York during her training at Talent Unlimited High School. There she was a member of The Ballet Hispanico Jr. Company. Ms. Fleet earned her B.F.A. in dance from Purchase College in 1999 and received her M.B.A. in business management in 2006. She has performed in works by Bill T. Jones, Merce Cunningham, Kevin Wynn, and Carlo Menotti. Ms. Fleet joined Taylor 2 in Summer 1999. She made her debut with the Paul Taylor Dance Company in September 2002.
PARISA KHOBDEH, born and raised in Plano, Texas, trained under Kathy Chamberlain and Gilles Tanguay. She earned her B.F.A. from Southern Methodist University and, while a student at SMU and the American Dance Festival as a Tom Adams Scholar, worked with choreographers Robert Battle, Judith Jamison and Donald McKayle, among others. She also attended Taylor and Graham Intensives in New York City. Ms. Khobdeh has choreographed dances to benefit human rights organizations, as well as for independent films. In July 2006 she made her New York theatrical debut at the Stella Adler Studios in the lead role of Lanford Wilson’s Burn This. She premiered with the Paul Taylor Dance Company at the American Dance Festival in Summer 2003.
SEAN MAHONEY was born and raised in Bensalem, Pennsylvania. At age 12 he began training with Fred Knecht and by attending Princeton Ballet School on scholarship. He became an apprentice at American Repertory Ballet (ARB) and then became a featured dancer with the company. After graduating high school in 1993, he was chosen as one of the first members of Taylor 2. Mr. Mahoney later danced for David Parsons, Alex Tressor and Geoffrey Doig-Marx and was in Radio City’s Christmas Spectacular. In 2000 he returned to ARB under the direction of Graham Lustig . Mr. Mahoney rejoined Taylor 2 in Summer 2002. His debut with the Paul Taylor Dance Company was in January 2004.
JEFFREY SMITH was born in Rhode Island and began his performing career singing and tap dancing. Upon entering the Boston Conservatory as a musical theater major, he had the opportunity to perform works by Paul Taylor, José Limón, Sean Curran and Anna Sokolow and later switched majors to graduate with a B.F.A. in dance performance. After graduating in 2001, he became a member of the Martha Graham Ensemble performing featured roles in Diversion of Angels, El Penitente, and the duet from A Dancer’s World, and Bertram Ross’s Nocturne. During this time he participated in The Taylor School Winter and Summer Intensives and became a member of Taylor 2 in March 2005. Mr. Smith made his debut with the Paul Taylor Dance Company in Cleveland in May 2005.
ERAN BUGGE is from Oviedo, Florida where she began her dance training at the Orlando Ballet School. She went on to study at the Hartt School of the University of Hartford under the direction of Peggy Lyman, graduating Summa Cum Laude with a B.F.A. in ballet pedagogy in 2005. She attended The Taylor School and the 2004 and 2005 Taylor Summer Intensives. Ms. Bugge has performed in works by Amy Marshall, Katie Stevinson-Nollet and Jean Grand-Maître. She was also a member of Full Force Dance Theatre and the Adam Miller Dance Project. She joined the Paul Taylor Dance Company in Fall 2005.
FRANCISCO GRACIANO, a native of San Antonio, Texas, began dancing and acting at an early age. He received a B.F.A. in dance from Stephens College for Women (male scholarship), and scholarships from the Alvin Ailey School and The Taylor School. He has been a member of TAKE Dance Company, Connecticut Ballet, Ben Munisteri Dance Company, Cortez & Co. Contemporary/Ballet, Pascal Rioult Dance Theater, and Dusan Tynek Dance Theater, among others. He also appeared in the operas Aida and White Raven directed by Robert Wilson. Mr. Graciano joined Taylor 2 in February 2004 and made his debut with the Paul Taylor Dance Company in Granada, Spain in Summer 2006.
LAURA HALZACK grew up in Suffield, Connecticut and began her dance training at the age of four with Brenda Barna. She furthered her training at The School of the Hartford Ballet and studied at the Conservatory of Dance at Purchase College. Ms. Halzack graduated Summa Cum Laude with a degree in History from the University of New Hampshire in 2003. She then studied at the Hartt School and at The Taylor School’s 2004 Summer Intensive. She has performed with the Amy Marshall Dance Company and Syren Modern Dance and has enjoyed teaching in her home state. Ms. Halzack studied at The Taylor School for two years before joining the Paul Taylor Dance Company in Summer 2006.
JAMIE RAE WALKER began her ballet and Graham-based modern dance training at age eight in Levittown, Pennsylvania and later she performed with the Princeton Ballet, now American Repertory Ballet. In 1991 she began training at the Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, and in 1992 was awarded a scholarship by Violette Verdy at the Northeast Regional Dance Festival. Ms. Walker joined Miami City Ballet in 1994 and performed principal and soloist roles in Balanchine and Taylor dances until 2000. In 2001 she received a scholarship to attend The Taylor School and was part of the original cast of Twyla Tharp’s Broadway show, Movin’ Out. Ms. Walker joined Taylor 2 in Fall 2003, and became a member of the Paul Taylor Dance Company in Summer 2008.
MICHAEL APUZZO grew up in North Haven, Connecticut. He studied economics and theater at Yale University, graduating Magna Cum Laude in 2005. Growing up in musical theater, he began his formal dance training while in college, performing and choreographing in undergraduate companies. After being dance captain for an original production of Miss Julie choreographed by Peter Pucci, Mr. Apuzzo debuted professionally at the Yale Repertory Theater. He has since performed in numerous musicals at equity theaters across the county, and recently finished performing in the National Tour of Twyla Tharp’s Broadway show, Movin’ Out. He holds a second-degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do. Mr. Apuzzo joined the Paul Taylor Dance Company in 2008.
AILEEN ROEHL is an American who grew up in Heidelberg, Germany, where she began her dance training at the Heidelberg School of the Arts with Isabel Christie and Carolyn Carattini. Under Mrs. Christie’s direction she danced many roles including Puck, The Firebird, Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty and Nikia in La Bayadere. She received her B.F.A. from the University of Hartford’s Hartt School where she performed works by Martha Graham, Peggy Lyman, Katie Stevenson-Nollet, Jean Grand-Maitre, Kirk Peterson, Alla Nikitina, Ralph Perkins, and Adam Miller. Aileen was a member of the Amy Marshall Dance Company from September 2005 through May 2010, and was the Company’s resident costume designer. She joined the Paul Taylor Dance Company in June 2010.
MICHAEL NOVAK was raised in Rolling Meadows, Illinois, where he started dancing at age ten. He trained on full scholarship at The University of the Arts and the Pennsylvania Academy of Ballet, and, after moving to New York, went on to study with Joe Williams and Anna Lederfeind. In 2009, he graduated Magna Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Columbia University with a B.A. in Dance, and later performed with Gibney Dance, Daniel Gwirtzman Dance Company, and Bonnie Scheibman. Mr. Novak started studying at the Taylor School in 2008 and participated in the Taylor Summer Intensive before joining the Company in Summer 2010. His debut season earned him a nomination for the 2011 Clive Barnes Foundation Dance Award.