Hyman Steps into Stardom at Ailey II


Ailey II has been revered by many as “The Next Generation of Dance.” From Germany to Hawaii, everyone seems to agree that something magical occurs each time Ailey II takes the stage. Each theatre they’ve graced has become a place where dancers transform and dreams soar, and this could not be more true after their final performance run of their 2017 tour season. From March 29 to April 2 Ailey II performed both new works and some fan favorites from previous seasons at New York University’s Skirball Center for the Arts, and if it’s possible the crowds only fell even more in love with the superb dancers of this second company.

Since its inception in 1974, Ailey II  has been used as a stepping tool for pre-professional dancers to step into the beginnings of what each hopes to be an illustrious dance career. As the years have passed since the company’s establishment, there has become a legacy of Ailey School students joining the company, often times coming from the Ailey/Fordham BFA program as either an alumni or while still a student at both institutions. It is no coincidence that so many students of the BFA program go on to successfully join Ailey II and many other companies. Fordham alumni Gabriel Hyman, Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC) ‘16, who’s closing his second season with Ailey II can certainly attest to that himself.

Hyman, one of the four current company members who’ve been a part of the BFA program, says that  “Because the program has such a strong training ground in all techniques, it allowed me to have a well-rounded and versatile foundation which prepared me for being in Ailey II with the diverse repertoire that we are given each year.” Their short run at Skirball certainly affirmed that with works so contrasting. From Jae Man Joo’s “Circular” gliding across the stage to Moore’s “Sketches of Flames” emanating raw passion and flare, the dancers presented them all with breathtaking ease.

Hyman not only graced the stages while on tour, but she also appeared on posters ㅡthe second BFA in a row to serve as the face of Ailey II. Hyman says “ Being a part of Ailey II has impacted my dancing and my career significantly.  It has taught me some of the most important lessons of being a professional dancer, being a part of a professional dance company and discovering myself as an artist.” These words couldn’t have rung more true than they did when Hyman stepped onto the stage. Serving as not just a role model for first season company members, but for young dancers across the country, Ailey II has given him the ability not only to give back to many communities but the platform to truly define what it is to be a newly turned professional dancer in 2017.

Gabriel Hyman is not an exception but rather one piece in an ongoing legacy of successful Ailey/Fordham BFA dancers who have gone on to dominate the world of dance. Currently, besides Gabriel, three other Fordham dancers— one of which is graduating this spring— can be found sweeping the stage with their talent. From Ailey II and on, so many more Fordham alumni can be found in a multitude of dance companies, each dancer thriving as vivaciously as the next. So just think, the next time you see a dancer roaming the halls of Fordham you may just be looking straight into the face of the next generation of dance.