Ailey or NYCB? What a decision...

I lied. I said in my last blog that I was headed to the Brooklyn Academy of Music to see the Ailey company perform... well, something came up and I ended up going to see NYCB instead.


Don't worry, the Ailey tickets didn't go to waste- some of my family members went instead. I was most disappointed that I wasn't able to see the company perform Camille A. Brown's The Groove to Nobody's Business. I've heard so much about the work and I was able to see Brown perform a fierce solo this spring in Dallas, so I knew it would be great. My younger brother (who has said "I just don't get modern dance," breaking his big sister's heart) went to the performance, and when I asked about Groove, said "Oh, it was about the subway, and it was awesome." And everyone loved the signature Revelations. Of course, how could you not?


My evening at Lincoln Center was also quite enjoyable. I snagged a couple free tickets from a friend of mine who dances at SAB (a thank you shoutout to my ticket provider, you know who you are!), and went with a friend of mine from TCU (she's here dancing at ABT's Collegiate Summer Intensive). The reason I chose this over Ailey can be summed up in a name: Jerome Robbins.


I will admit, I'm slightly obsessed with Mr. Robbins. I did an ample amount of research concerning both his ballet and Broadway choreography in my Dance History class last year. In the process, I learned about NY Export: Opus Jazz, a work he created for a festival in Italy in 1958. It was meant to showcase American dance, and the dance is truly American. It's also truly Robbins, a real blend of theatrics and dance technique, displaying both subtlety in movement as well as virtuosic feats. Reading about his process in creating NY Export (from deliberately casting an ethnically diverse cast, to creating movement, to designing costumes that included Keds Sneakers) was fascinating.


When I saw that NYCB was performing NY Export on the program (which included two other dances choreographed by Robbins), I had to go. This dance is not often performed and is atypical of most dances you'll see on a City Ballet program. Off go the leotards and pointe shoes, and instead the dancers wear leggings, bright-colored sweaters, and matching sneakers. I thoroughly enjoyed the two Robbins' ballets that were performed that night, but I was on the edge of my seat during this "jazz ballet" filled with high kicks, quick finger snaps, and multiple pirouettes and danced to the dynamic jazz score by Robert Prince. NY Export was the first ballet Robbins choreographed after working on West Side Story, and the two share the same spirit of vibrant, dancing teenagers moving to express the emotions rising up inside of them.


A new film taking NY Export off the stage and into New York is being directed and danced by NYCB dancers. To find out more, check out

Latest Posts

Photo by Jayme Thornton

How Paloma Garcia-Lee Manifested Her Dream Role, in Steven Spielberg’s "West Side Story"

On a rainy day in November 2018, Paloma Garcia-Lee got a call from her agent that brought her to her knees outside her New York City apartment: She was going to play Graziella in Steven Spielberg's West Side Story.

The call came after a lengthy audition process with Spielberg in the room, and the role, originated by Wilma Curley on Broadway in 1957 and later portrayed by Gina Trikonis in the 1961 film, was her biggest dream. In fact, it's something Garcia-Lee says she manifested from the day plans for the movie were announced in January 2018. "I wrote in my journal: 'I am playing Graziella in Steven Spielberg's West Side Story.'"

Keep Reading SHOW LESS
Photo by @mediabyZ

Am I Less Committed to Dance Because I Have Other Passions? (Spoiler Alert: NO!)

Let's face it—dance is HARD, and in order to achieve your goals, you need to be committed to your training. "Still, there's a fine line between being committed and being consumed." Dancers can, and should, have interests outside of the studio.

Not convinced? We talked with dance psychologist Dr. Lucie Clements and two multifaceted dancers, Kristen Harlow (a musical theater dancer pursuing a career in NYC and Kentucky) and Kallie Takahashi (a dancer in her final year at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts), and got the inside scoop on how having hobbies outside of dance can inform your artistry, expand your range and help prevent burnout.

Keep Reading SHOW LESS
Photo courtesy of Brittany Conigatti

Go Behind the Scenes of Annie Live! With Brittany Conigatti

Unwrap your candy canes, pour the hot chocolate and round up your fellow theater lovers: NBC is kicking off the Christmas season with its latest live-broadcast TV musical. Annie Live! premieres December 2 and features a star-studded cast, including Harry Connick Jr., Tituss Burgess, Megan Hilty and, as the title character, young phenom Celina Smith.

Luckily, people got a taste of what the special will entail when the cast kicked off the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade with a performance last week. But since you’re never fully dressed without a Dance Spirit exclusive, we caught up with Brittany Conigatti, one of the young orphans and adult ensemble members in the show, to learn what it was like putting together a large-scale live production for the small screen.

The cast of Annie Live! poses for a group photo. The cast of Annie Live!Photo courtesy of Conigatti

Keep Reading SHOW LESS

Editors' Picks

Enter the Cover Model Search