In the career of a dancer, taking new steps as an artist can also mean changing your life. That’s what Aesha Ash has done over and over, moving from the New York City Ballet to Switzerland’s Béjart Ballet Lausanne and then to Alonzo King’s LINES Ballet in 2005. Spark visited Ash during a rehearsal, where she discussed her adjustment to the third dance company change of her career.
Ash’s willingness to move from place to place is an effect of her motivation to grow artistically as a dancer. Before joining LINES, Ash was about to retire from the dance scene; worn out from the scrutiny of her body that is not like most ballet dancers’ stick-thin figures and the pressures of being the only African American woman in the New York City Ballet. However, her move to LINES has revived her love for dance through King’s improvisation and contemporary choreography.
Aesha Ash has been featured in the PBS special “Live From Lincoln Center” and photographed for Bazaar, Marie Claire, New Woman, Dance Spirit and Essence. She is the recipient of the Dance Master of America Honor and was the double for actress Zoe Saldana in the dance sequences of the film “Center Stage.” Alonzo King’s LINES Ballet is considered one of San Francisco’s premier dance companies, famous for King’s sinuous choreography and his dancers’ athleticism and expressive movement.