Aly Yee: Gaga over MaMa

 
 
Name: Aly Yee
 
Year & school: Barnard College '15
 
Role in the The MaMa Project: Co-Director/Choreographer/Muffin-Buyer for early rehearsals (Hi Ivy!!)
 
How long have you been dancing? I took my first ballet class at the age of 3 and haven't stopped since (though I'm still in denial about how many years that is...)! 
 
Your first time choreographing was for Orchesis last year. How is it different this time around? I think, as with anything, experience is the greatest advantage. Choreographing for Orchesis is about a lot more than just coming up with a dance; it's also about leading a group of people, which means identifying their strengths and figuring out how those strengths can be used to best express your own artistic vision. This is my third semester choreographing, so I've definitely learned how to do that better. An added bonus is that my cast is made up of some of the most talented dancers, who are also some of my best friends, and they inspire me at every rehearsal!
 
How are dancing and choreographing different? When you are a dancer in someone else's work, you are the vehicle through which the choreographer is expressing a vision or a message. So, there is less ownership over your movement when dancing- but you also get to become something outside of yourself, which is a great escape and a great feeling. Choreographing requires ownership over all aspects of your work and that's a challenge because what comes with that is having to put yourself out there and be open to criticism. However, to me, that's worth it to be able to control and craft something personal and meaningful (especially because I am a type-A control freak!)
 
What can you tell us about the dance you've choreographed for MaMa? This year's MaMa Project is going to be unlike any of the shows we've had in the past. I am working with the incredibly talented dancer/choreographer/human, Ivy Vega (BC '15), and we have lots of fantastic ideas circling in our heads. Something I can tell you to look forward to is seeing a cast made up of the most talented dancers at Barnard/Columbia. Ivy and I find ourselves in awe of them every week - their talent could really make any show enjoyable! We are still in early developmental stages right now, but there's a lot of weird and cool and creepy things to come, so stay tuned. Like The MaMa Project on FB to keep up to date!
 
Since there isn't always enough space for a dance like that when you go out, what's your favorite move to bust out on the dance floor? I'm old school (by old, I mean 2004-Bat-Mitzvah-Days-of-Glory old) and love a good "Pop, Lock, and Drop It," or some Beyonce "Crazy In Love" booty shaking (and also ALL moves ever done by Queen Bey).