Meet Ailey's Newest Dancers
Posted by Content Manager, May 23, 2013 |
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
Introducing Jeroboam Bozeman, Elisa Clark, and Fana Tesfagiorgis -- the latest dancers to join the ranks of the acclaimed Ailey company. Learn more about these powerful artists and what joining the Company means to them.
Jeroboam Bozeman recalls the first time he began learning Alvin Ailey’s masterpiece, Revelations, as a member of Ailey II. “I literally broke down in tears,” he recounts. “I learned all of the history from books and attending Ailey shows, and all of a sudden I was performing it. I’ve learned so much about Mr. Ailey’s legacy.” A Brooklyn, NY native, Jeroboam will now perform onstage as a member of the Company he learned so much about in his youth.
A gold medal recipient from the NAACP ACT-SO competition in dance, he began his dancing career with Philadanco and has also performed with Donald Byrd's Spectrum Dance Theater and in the international tour of Elton John’s and Tim Rice’s Broadway musical Aida. Jeroboam’s interests range from languages (he is fluent in American Sign Language and conversant in Chinese) and Tae Kwon Do to psychology and community outreach, but his first love is dance. "This has been an amazing journey and my dreams have come true. I want to continue to strive and push myself, and to share my gift and inspire aspiring dancers to follow their dreams too."
Hailing from Brandywine, MD, Elisa Clark’s ties to the Ailey organization run deep. A founding member of Ailey Artistic Director Robert Battle’s former Battleworks Dance Company from 2001-2006, Elisa worked closely with Mr. Battle as both a dancer and company manager. She also assisted him with two of his Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater commissions, Juba (2003) and Love Stories (2004). Now, nearly a decade later, they join forces again at Ailey -- but this time as Artistic Director and Company member. “I have been inspired by the blend of authenticity and magic of the Ailey dancers for years now, and it is nothing less than an opportunity of a lifetime to be joining the Company,” says Elisa.
Elisa also performed with Mark Morris Dance Group and the Lar Lubovitch Dance Company and was a dancer at the Metropolitan Opera. She has been on faculty at the American Dance Festival and taught master classes across the world, and she is a 2008 Princess Grace Award recipient. Elisa has also had the honor of working alongside Mr. Battle's own mentor, Carolyn Adams. She says of her new journey, “I'm thrilled to be a part of continuing Mr. Ailey's legacy by sharing and connecting with people worldwide.”
Fana Tesfagiorgis is no stranger to Ailey. A native of Madison, WI and a graduate of the Ailey/Fordham B.F.A. Program in Dance, Fana spent her college years studying with a who’s who of eminent Ailey School instructors, honing her craft both with classes at the Ailey Studios and onstage at the Ailey Citigroup Theater. After being invited by Artistic Director Emerita Sylvia Waters to join the second company, she traveled the world with Ailey II.
While on tour with Ailey II in 2011, Fana shared her awe over her new profession: “Sometimes I wake up in my hotel room in the middle of the night and wonder if it’s all a dream – the rare locations, the lights, and the crowds pleading for encores. Am I really a professional dancer? How lucky we are to get to see the world and do what we love to do.” Following her two years with Ailey II, Fana freelanced for a year -- performing, teaching, and serving as an assistant to various choreographers.
Now a newly-minted member of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Fana once again looks back as she starts a new chapter in her life. “All of these eye-opening experiences have led to my dream manifesting, and I wouldn't have gotten here without God and the constant support from my family, teachers, and peers. I can't wait to absorb and share everything that I can on this new journey.”
Left: Fana Tesfagiorgis in Troy Powell's Reference Point. Photo by Eduardo Patino, NYC. Center: Elisa Clark performing with Lar Lubovitch Dance Company. Right: Jeroboam Bozeman in Amy Hall Garner's Virtues. Photo by Eduardo Patino, NYC. All headshots by Andrew Eccles.
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