A dancer discovers the satisfactions of learning the famously demanding technique. Ana Marie Forsythe's eyes twinkle, and a smile plays at the corners of her mouth as she welcomes the 40-plus teachers who are enrolled for her two-week-long Horton teacher-training workshop at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater studios in New York City - plus me, a dancer and writer, taking part for the day.
Ana Marie Forsythe
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Ana Marie Forsythe still remembers her first Horton technique class, in the late 1950s at the Newark Ballet Academy. Former Horton dancer Joyce Trisler came, at Fred Danieli's invitation, to teach class to his students, who Danieli felt needed to be more versatile dancers.
Amid the flourishing 1930s American modern dance scene, Lester Horton began shaping a technique that would serve as the foundation for much of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater repertoire. "Alvin was never shy in saying that Horton was most influential to his choreography," says Ana Marie Forsythe, chair of the Horton department at The Ailey School.