8 Secrets of Touring with Ailey

August 4, 2015

Jacqueline Green (at right) during a curtain call with Ailey in her episode of “Behind the Curtain.”

You may have seen Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater perform, but going on tour with the company is an experience all its own. For the latest episode of Dance Magazine‘s web series “Behind the Curtain,” we followed our August cover star, Ailey powerhouse Jacqueline Green, on tour to Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Here are the top eight insider tidbits I learned about Green and the phenomenal company. You can check out her whole day here from the hotel to her PT appointment to the theater.

1. What is Green’s creative solution for when hotel pillows just don’t cut it? Hint: It involves stuffed animals. Multiple stuffed animals.

2. Touring and performing the majority of the year takes major stamina. For Ailey dancers, that means squeezing in cardio whenever they can, especially in hotel gyms. Green’s machine of choice? The elliptical.

3. When she visits Ailey’s PT (who also tours with the company) about some knee pain, Green receives more than bodywork to help increase her range of motion. She also gets a healthy dose of tough love.

4. The company’s stage rehearsals—even when they’re marking—are mesmerizing. Watch Green move with a combination of percussive syncopation and water-like ripples in Aszure Barton’s LIFT.

5. Did I mention these dancer/athletes work out? Get a glimpse of some of the company members’ pre-show conditioning in this episode. It’s reminiscent of gym class and chock-full of jumping jacks, high knees, planks and push-ups.

6. During the scene showing gorgeous performance footage of Ailey in LIFT, Green tells the story of how the piece got its name. Based on their movement, I think you’ll find it quite fitting.

7. According to Green, she feels like a certain animal whenever she dances LIFT, but you’ll have to watch to find out just which one.

8. What most surprised me about this episode is that despite her fiery presence onstage, Green considers herself to be an introvert.

Check out all of this and much more in “Behind the Curtain.”