Conan O'Brien's Harlem odyssey continued Tuesday night with a visit to the famed Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, where the lanky late-night host attempted to learn modern dance over the course of one lesson. Under the tutelage of co-director Tracy Inman, O'Brien morphs from a clumsy, uncoordinated and rigid amateur into…essentially the same thing.
One way students can explore dance's past is by learning historical repertory. Ailey/Fordham BFA students take Black Traditions in American Dance and World Dance History, which are often coordinated with repertory classes. "The movement shows you a different side of what you're learning in the classroom," says Marie Paspe, a recent graduate of the program, who learned Blues Suite and Revelations from Ailey II artistic director emerita Sylvia Waters.
She started dancing at the age of three and that was only because her mother went to a Target store and picked out a ballet outfit just to see how her toddler would look in it. For Courtney Celeste Spears, it's like she never took off the leotard.
With only two weeks left in The Ailey School's Summer Intensive Program, Gabriel Hyman collided with his partner during a rehearsal for the final performance and suffered a calf-muscle tear. "I was told that a recovery would take at least two weeks," said Hyman, who's currently an Ailey II apprentice and a junior in the Ailey/Fordham University BFA program.
In 1930s New York, jazz was the music and Harlem’s Cotton Club was the place to hear it. Inside that famed nightclub on 142nd Street and Lenox Avenue, the city’s elite white society packed the house to see and hear many of the best black jazz musicians and entertainers of the era.
Jacqulyn Buglisi has a flair for drama. To encourage the students in her intermediate and advanced Graham classes at The Ailey School to open their sternums in a high release, she tells them to stretch "like a flower came out of your heart."
Courtney Celeste Spears, Corey John Snide and Zoey Anderson may all be students at NYC colleges, but they have zero New York attitude. Find out why they chose to dance at Big Apple colleges - and whether heading to NYC might by the right move for you, too.
She didn't always think she'd be a dancer. For Buckhead native Samantha Jones, ballet has always just been something she's done and enjoyed for the fun of it.
It's only about 300 miles from the Blue Ridge Mountains to Fordham's Lincoln Center campus. But for Chris Bloom, the distance between Middletown, Virginia (population: 1,265) and Manhattan may as well be more. Much more.
Daphne Lee is a junior in the Ailey/Fordham BFA program and an apprentice with Ailey II.