Bozeman (left) in Rennie Harris' Exodus. Photo by Paul Kolnik, Courtesy Ailey
It's the contrasts that set Jeroboam Bozeman apart. In a New York minute, his movements may jump from sharp and distinct to gracefully fluid. Bozeman defies labels; you're not sure if you're watching a ballet dancer, a modern dancer or (one of his favorite styles) a West African dancer.
Equally impressive is his offstage persistence: He auditioned for Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater five times before he was offered a place in Ailey II. A year later, in 2013, he finally joined the main company.
He describes dancing as "liberating," a quality evident when he's onstage—he's so present that you wish you were up there with him. "The more honest I am in my dancing," he says, "the more relatable it will be to people."
The new animated ballet film
Leap!, set in Paris in 1884, tells the story of 11-year-old orphan Félicie Milliner, who lives in the countryside and dreams of dancing at the school of the Paris Opéra Ballet. To get in, Félicie borrows another dancer's identity. Voice talents include Elle Fanning, Maddie Ziegler and Carly Rae Jepsen. The film's choreography was overseen by Aurelie Dupont, the new director of dance at POB. Leap! will be released nationwide on April 21.
Update: The film's U.S. release has been pushed back to Aug. 30.
If you've seen the smash sensation La La Land, then you've seen the work of choreographer Mandy Moore. She is the brains behind the dance scenes in the Oscar-nominated film, as well as a choreographer on TV and film sets like "Dancing with the Stars," "So You Think You Can Dance," Silver Linings Playbook and more.