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Aesha Ash


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I was browsing through some of these threads and I noticed someone mentioned that Ash is on her way to Bejart's company. I searched throughout the forums for some kind of explanation, but couldn't find one. I'm sorry if this has already been discussed, but....

Has Ash given any sort of explanation for why she is leaving NYCB to join Bejart's company? Not that I think it's a bad move, I'm just surprised (and very disapointed that I won't be seeing her this winter!)

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I don't believe that there has been any official word, but NCYB has a habit of letting dancers slip away without any sort of pomp and circumstance when they are (oftentimes disposable) corps members.

My inkling is that she felt that she served her time and watched others climb the totem pole faster and wanted to be doing more dancing and less standing in the back looking pretty.

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Thanks for the link Ari! I had a feeling there had to be "some thing" out there!

Wow, she's been a corps member since 96! It seems like just yesterday that she was dancing Rubies in the SAB workshop! Time flies, but I guess I can understand now why she's leaving, I hadn't realized it had been that long.

Here's hoping that Bejart schedules a wonderful American tour so we can enjoy Ash as a soloist!!

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Aesha Ash has left the Bejart Ballet to become a dancer with San Francisco's Lines Ballet, as reported on their web site. It should not come as much of a surprise, given her disappointing experience at Bejart, and prior to that at NYCB, as she described in June 2005 Dance Magazine:

.... After seven years in the corps, she joined the Bejart Ballet Lausanne in Switzerland in hopes of finding better roles. "I actually stuck around [for so long] just because I was the only black female. I would see a handful of little black girls [who were studying at School of American Ballet] and tell myself I had to keep going for them. There were people who would stop me on the street and say, 'You're the sistah up there doing her thing. Alright.' I felt like I was on a mission," Ash says. "But I got tired of feeling different. I wanted to be looked at just for my art. I felt everything about me was so different--my body type, my curves, my hair, my skin color."

Ash recalls a particularly disquieting moment: "I remember one time we were working on Swan Lake and the woman who had come in to stage it told us, 'I don't want see any tan bodies on the stage.' Well, what am I supposed to do? I guess I'm the dirty swan. Everyone is putting powder on to get as white as possible. What am I supposed to do? Those little things just got to me more and more."

But even now with Bejart, Ash remains frustrated with the way she is often cast. "I have a soft side, but I'm always cast in stuff where there's all this fierce, raw energy. I'm so tired of hearing that this is me. It was like that at City Ballet, and here at Bejart I still get that," she says. "I'm not always this strong black woman on a mission. I don't always want to move my hips. OK, we can do that. Next. We can be soft also."

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Interesting update on Ash, a dancer I greatly admired during her years at NYCB.

From a purely selfish standpoint, I hate it when dancers leave NYCB but I can understand her line of reasoning. I wish her well in her future work, and hope to get a chance to see her dance again.

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My "Google Alert" led me to a very interesting article about Aesha, now dancing with Alonzo King in San Francisco. I for one was sorry to see her go, (she was my mother's favorite female dancer) and felt that she had been under-used. Albert Evans' piece to the John Cage music ("Haiku") showed what she was capable of doing. I hope you'll follow the link to this information.

The article traces not just her physical journey from New York to Switzerland (with Bejart) to San Francisco, but her internal struggles with being the only African-American woman in NYCB. I was sad to read that she had become discouraged, and wish her well in her new endeavors.


if the link doesn't work, send me a message, or go to SFGate.com and search.

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The pic is beautiful indeed. I think I will make a poster out of it!

Many of the pictures I have seen of her radiate so much delicate grace and softness. For me it is clear there is an evident gentle side of her (as opposed as strong and aggressive) and that she is at laest capable of showing it in pictures (NOT everyone can!). It is sad that no AD was able to let her express that side of hers.

I have never had the chance to see her dance but surely would travel to catch her on stage. It truely saddens me that she considered quitting dance, it must not have been easy for her.

I wish her all the best !

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Many years ago (more than 8 maybe 10) the New York Times ran a photo essay on SAB's summer session. Aesha Ash and Riolama Lorenzo, then students, were shown in these photos. I found it to be very interesting and have followed these dancers since then. I was very happy to see both enter NYCB's corps de ballet. :(

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I saw Aesha perform the lead in Rubies at the SAB workshop when she was in the school. She was just breathtaking. Lines Ballet seems like it could be a good fit. I hope she enjoys not only the ballet company but living in the San Francisco Bay area. It will be quite a change from NYC. We are happy to have her on the West Coast.

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Just got the press release today -- she will be dancing Nutcracker (I assume the SPF) in the Olympic Ballet Theatre production in Everett, WA December 18. They are a semi-professional company just north of Seattle, with a very nice, traditional production that's quite family-oriented. She's paired with Darius Crenshaw. He's also performing the previous week in Seattle, that time with Andrea Long.


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Just got the press release today -- she will be dancing Nutcracker (I assume the SPF) in the Olympic Ballet Theatre production in Everett, WA December 18. 

Did the press release say if she'd be dancing the matinee, evening, or both performances? (And which performance(s) Andrea Long would dance at Meany?

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Meany Hall (Crenshaw and Long) December 10-11 at 2 pm (no evening listed)

Everett Performing Arts Center (Crenshaw and Ashe) December 18 at 2 and 6 pm.

There is a pair of "preview" performances on December 3-4 at 2 pm, at Mountlake Terrace High School/Performing Arts Center, with no guest artists listed.

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