There's a tingling sensation that goes through the body when you hear that a friend has received the recognition and opportunity for advancement that comes with focus, tenacity and passion. That's what happened for me when I found out that Michael Novak has been named as the Artistic Director-Designate for Paul Taylor Dance Foundation.
The wonderful thing about the dance world is how small is actually is. A rewarding collaboration with one dancer can lead to connections to their friends who too become partners in making beautiful photographs. That's how I came to work with Michael a couple of years ago.
I had partnered on an editorial assignment with the noted choreographer Larry Keigwin, and when I found out that Paul Taylor Dance was coming to town, he was gracious enough to connect me with Michael. Despite an extremely tight schedule, and a snowstorm, Michael made his way to the studio late one evening after rehearsals to collaborate on the Limelight series.
Invariably, dancers come to the shoots full of energy and the intention to make something unique and special, and Michael was no exception. But more than that, there was an inquisitiveness and a dedication to the process of creativity and exploration that was truly impressive. Being respectful of the fact that he had not yet had dinner, and had performances the next day, I reluctantly stopped shooting after a couple of hours. Clearly, though, we could have continued for quite a lot longer considering the focus and joy he brought to the session.
I'm just delighted to hear that Michael has been given the opportunity to lead such a prestigious and beloved dance company. For more information, take a look at this article in The New York Times.