Gardens of Clay
(Life, Lessons, Legacy)
This multi-year project brings to life lessons learned, stories heard and unheard, antidotes tried, and true, and impeccable moments of a life lived as an artist – a human being whose legacy is in the soil of many souls and in the wings and the marley of stages near and far. Mr. Clay Taliaferro (aka Mr. Clay) is a living legacy.
Mr. Clay was named Professor of the Practice Emeritus of Dance at Duke University. His dance career is extensive and impressive, and spans over six decades. He is an award-winning performer with an international reputation as an artist, teacher, and choreographer. Most notably, Mr. Clay was a principal dancer and guest artist with the José Limón Dance Company for many years, and, served as the company’s Assistant Artistic Director to Ruth Currier. Mr. Clay danced with and was Acting Artistic Director for the Donald McKayle Dance Company. He also co-founded/directed and performed with the Theatre Dance Trio.
Mr. Clay’s stellar career includes performances on and off-Broadway, in T.V. and on film. He has choreographed over eighty works and received funding and recognition for his signature works from the Duke University Institute of the Arts, the American Dance Legacy Institute, and the National Endowment for the Arts. A distinguished dance educator, his teaching and guest artist appointments in higher education include Duke University, Virginia Commonwealth University, and Florida State University, to name a few. He received an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts, in 1986 from Rhode Island College. A lifelong learner and exemplary teacher, Mr. Clay continues dance, teach and inspire students of all ages.
Vincent E Thomas- Artistic Direction
Clay Taliaferro- Dance Legend & Collaborator
Dr. Gaynell Sherrod- Project Researcher/Documenter & Educational Developer
Dr. John Perpena- Dance Historian