Welcome Home, Taurean! Ballet Star Returns East to Dance With ‘Dance Theater of Harlem’ – Again!

Nicole Getchell, Rehersal Director And Taurean Green Earlier This Week.[/caption]

Taurean Green With Eugenia O'Brien, Executive Director of Portland School of Ballet

By Carol McCracken (Post # 859)

“I’d NEVER forget Munjoy Hill. This is my home and where my dancing began,” Green said earlier this week following a work out at the Portland School of Ballet with company members. In fact, Green’s dancing began at the former Jack Elementary School on the Hill where he was discovered by Eugenia O’Brien, founder and director of the nationally recognized Ballet School.

When Green was a 10 year old student, he auditioned at school to be a beneficiary of the Rowell Foster Children’s Fine Arts Fund. The fund was established by Portland native Victoria Rowell. Green did not initially qualify for the fund because he’s not a foster child. But because of his extraordinary potential, O’Brien persuaded ballerina/actress/foster child Rowell to underwrite Taurean’s ballet lessons because he’s a minority as is Rowell. “The rest is history!”

“I’ve been wanting to return to the east coast to dance for sometime now,” said Green, 28, as we sat in a leather couch just outside the practice room earlier this week catching up. Most recently Green had been dancing in Seattle with the Pacific Northwest Ballet company. But, he wants to be closer to family on the east coast. Furthermore, there are only three cities on the west coast, Seattle, San Francicso and Los Angeles, where there are dancing opportunities. Here, on the east coast there are many more opportunities for dancers, Green said. So, early this spring he auditioned for Dance Theater of Harlem – for the second time – and got the job.

Following Portland High School, Green received scholarships to study with various schools which led to his employment with the famous Dance Theater of Harlem for four years. “I love to travel,” Green said. During those four years, he traveled overseas mostly to the British Isles and he said he’d like to do more. Although the 40 year old dance group performs mostly in NYC at the Joyce SoHo, the group does plan to go overseas to perform next year.

Green, who is incredibly focused and dedicated to his art said: “I’ve been on this path for a long time and will continue to stay on it to grow to be ready for other opportunities that will come my way. A dancer can’t stop growing.” His mentor, O’Brien, said: “It’s hard to allow dancers to have a life in dance. It’s becoming a lost art form. People barely have an idea of the sacrifices kids have to make. It’s their job to bring someone else vision to life.”

(editor’s note): mhn.com had the pleasure of writing a story about Taurean Green that appeared in the December 1993, “Munjoy Hill Observer”, upon his receipt of the Victoria Rowell scholarship. A follow-up story on Green was long-antcipated by mhn.com