Raising the barre

Ailey II
The New York Post

Three young men take a big leap forward

By Leigh Witchel

‘Ballet is woman,” Balanchine famously said, but this spring and summer, the dance world is raining men. One of them is 22-year-old Gentry George, who joined Ailey II last summer. Since then, Ailey director Troy Powell says, “It was as if he put on wings and he flew.” Also worth watching are the dynamic Lloyd Mayor, 19, who turned heads a few months ago at the Martha Graham Dance Company, and Chase Finlay, a 22-year-old winner of the Clive Barnes Award, who made it to the top of the heap at New York City Ballet, when he was promoted four months ago to principal dancer. Here’s what they’re like, and where and when you can catch their next leap forward.

Company: Ailey II
Hometown: Miami, Fla.
First steps: Started training at 8. Before Juilliard, he attended a local school in Miami where his teacher, Linda Agyapong, taught not only dance but singing, modeling and cooking, and ran a book club.
Personality: Polite and thoughtful.
Signature role: A tour-de-force solo in “Doscongio,” which showed the doubting man behind the confident mask.
The buzz: “You don’t just look at his physique,” says artistic director Troy Powell. “You look at his artistry.”
Guilty pleasure: Gummi bears. “Sometimes I sneak them at barre. I could eat them all day.”
Catch him: May 7 at the Apollo Theater and with Alvin Ailey Dance Theater at Newark’s NJPAC May 10 and 11.

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