Mary Cochran performed with the Paul Taylor Dance Company for twelve years, encompassing six Pillow engagements during that period. Although she was the company’s newest member when she made her Pillow debut in 1985, she was featured in five of the works presented in two different programs. Born in Dallas, she started studying dance at the age of five from her mother, a Juilliard-trained dancer known as Jerry Bywaters Cochran. She attended the North Carolina School of the Arts and moved to New York at 18, intending to attend Juilliard but joining the Alwin Nikolais Company instead. She joined the Taylor Company two years later, first following in the footsteps of another petite dancer, Lila York, and then going on to create her own memorable roles in such Taylor classics as Company B
and Last Look
. A month after her final Pillow appearance with the Taylor company in 1996, she returned to the Inside/Out Stage along with fellow Taylor dancers Andrew Asnes and Tom Patrick (then her husband). That performance, preserved in the Pillow Archives, contains the only known recording of a work created by Pillow Alumnus Christopher Gillis, entitled Farewell
. She went on to a distinguished career in academia, heading the Barnard College Dance Department from 2003 to 2013. Mary Cochran died on October 6, 2017 at the age of 54.
Source of Biography
Written by Norton Owen for Jacob's Pillow Remembers.