Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Guest blog: From NGB to Alvin Ailey

Guest blog by Hannah Barr

Photo by Kathy Schmitt
Hannah trained at the Patel Conservatory for two years. She started in the Patel Conservatory Youth Ballet program after school and was accepted the following year as a trainee with Next Generation Ballet. She currently attends Fordham University in New York City and trains at The Ailey School through a unique partnership B.F.A. program.

She shares her experience in a recent letter to our dance department:

Dear Mr. Peter and Ms. Ivonne,

How are you? I just wanted to say hello and let you know what I've been up to in New York!

I’m definitely enjoying Fordham University and Alvin Ailey. The studios are breathtaking and it is so neat to be able to share the space with “famous” dancers.

Cedar Lake was rehearsing at Ailey a couple of weeks ago and an ex-ABT principal often takes one of my ballet classes!

My teachers are fabulous. One of my ballet teachers, Mr. Peter O’Brien, is from the Royal Ballet. He is also the boy in which the Billy Elliot story is based upon. I thought that you might find that interesting!

I just had my first audition at Ailey for the two freshmen repertory pieces, and I was very excited to get into both pieces. The first choreographer I began working with, Mr. Pedro Ruiz, is from Cuba. ...The other choreographer, Hope Boykin, is a principal member of the Ailey company. We begin rehearsals with her tomorrow because the company is just getting back from their tour. For her audition, we actually had to Skype her in Brazil!

Fordham is literally a block away from Lincoln Center, and I have been taking advantage of the student ticket prices to see NYCB. Swan Lake was absolutely amazing. I was just able to get a “standing room only” ticket, but it definitely was well worth it.

Last weekend I saw “Balanchine Black and White.” And guess who was performing? Abi and Jonathan Stafford [Guest artists in Next Generation Ballet’s 2010 production of The Nutcracker.]! They were unbelievable. I think I’d have to say one of my favorites was Duo Concerto with Megan Fairchild and Jared Angle. The entire show left me blown away and inspired. :)

Speaking of Lincoln Center, I ran into Gabby Schiefer [former student of Next Generation Ballet] the other day. I asked her if she was in heaven at SAB [School of American Ballet] and she said yes. :)

I love being in New York, but I miss my Next Generation family a lot. I am so thankful that I was able to train at NGB. It seems as though a lot of people have heard of NGB up here (they know Kemper Cassada, Hannah Bettes, etc.). I feel honored to be able to say that is where I am from!

Hope you are all  doing well,
Hannah Barr

Congratulations to Hannah on her success and thanks for sharing!

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