Student Blog: Training in Taylor

August 16, 2018

Patrick Corbin

Patrick Corbin teaching | Photo by Alyssa Reyes

By Ardyn Flynt

Patrick Corbin is, well, a joy. To take his class in the context of the Paul Taylor intensive at USC Kaufman was to spiral, contract, undercurve and giggle at the antics between him and fellow Taylor company alumna, Rachel Berman. Having Professor Corbin during the academic year at USC Kaufman for Taylor class is always a vibrant experience: loud, funny and high energy. Not in a million years would I have guessed there existed a female version of Patrick’s infectious, effervescent energy. Watching Patrick and Rachel together was like watching childhood playmates, and they carried that childlike sense of play into their teaching methods.

Running and risking

One of the best things about Patrick’s class is the freedom to take risks, to explore, to be curious. And the high energy makes you want to do more, to lunge deeper or to run further. Patrick makes it okay to fall in his class–in fact it’s a mark of success if your movement is so risky, so committed, that you find yourself flat on the floor. I felt permission to change the movement in order to learn something new about my body and my limits, because Patrick encourages innovative play. Learning the iconic Taylor movement from him and seeing it demonstrated in his body (primed from a career in the company) was incredible. He and Rachel both stressed the fact that Taylor was a compilation of the movement qualities of Mr. Taylor and the other company members that contributed to its development. It was stylistic, but a space for play, theatrics, gestures and flow. The Taylor rep is truly some of the most diverse I’ve ever seen, and it was a pleasure to learn to love the movement from two dancers that spent a lifetime helping create it!