UA student takes choreography to NYC festival

UA student takes choreography to NYC festival

Ameen Price-Burnett, a recent graduate of May 2015, will showcase some of his choreography – previously performed at the University – in New York City this weekend.  Dirty Sugar Photography

Sam West

New York City is home to the 2015 Young Choreographer’s Festival, where the recent University of Alabama dance and musical theatre graduate Ameen Price-Burnett will lead a team of five others in the 
performance of a dance he created.

The Young Choreographer’s Festival is an annual event featuring up-and-coming talent, which serves as a showcase of all genres of dance. The festival will take place Saturday.

“There’s no prize, reward or anything,” Price-Burnett said. “It’s just to show off young choreographers to dance professionals in New York City and let them see what’s coming out of young minds.”

While participating in a workshop in the city last year, Price-Burnett attended the festival as a spectator and said he was impressed by the talent on display. He decided to submit some of his own work to see what would happen, he said.

The choreographer entered a piece he put together in December 2014 and performed in Morgan Auditorium for the university’s Dance Collection. Three members of the original group will travel to perform in the show.

One of the performers, Shaun Leary describes the routine they’ll take to New York City as an “iso-contemporary” dance number set to music with an electronic-house-like feel. He said the act and the track behind it were tied closely together, with dancers often moving in exact rhythm with the under-beat 
or bass line.

Leary, a senior majoring in dance, has worked with Price-Burnett throughout his college career and describes him as a calm and 
effective leader.

“He doesn’t yell,” Leary said. “He’s really mellow, but when it’s time to crack down, he will.”

Sarah M. Barry, an associate professor of dance, taught Price-Burnett in several classes and said she can attest to his skill in collaboration.

“[Price-Burnett] has particularly grown in his ability to work with groups of dancers,” she said. “His ability to listen to his peers and to know them enables him to work to their strength on the stage.”

Price-Burnett did not originally see choreography in his future.

“At first I just wanted to dance,” he said. “I didn’t find my passion for [choreography] until I had to take [that] class my sophomore year. It just kind of blossomed from that point.”

Reflecting on his achievements since then, Price-Burnett said he’s proud of his growth as an artist.

“Of course, when you’re first 
starting you don’t create the best things,” he said. “But you just have to keep doing it and seeing what happens. I am pleased with what my work has turned into and what it can become after this.”

The future for the young talent is full of possibilities. Price-Burnett said he hopes to create routines for several different dance companies, branch into the world of commercial choreography and submit his work to as many competitions as he can.

“I am so excited that [Price-Burnett] could end his college career with being honored by an outside organization for his choreography,” Barry said of her former student. “While our support and encouragement has helped him to grow, I know it was rewarding for a professional organization to acknowledge his work as well.”