More than any other performance in the season, Alvin Ailey attracts a large number of students who ususally do not attend a performance, said Joe Florence , marketing director of CPA.
“With the more accessible performances like Alvin Ailey, I like for a student to come and get blown away and then say, ‘OK, now I’m going to take a shot on a less accessible performance,’” Florence said.
With each performance, CPA aims for around 30 percent of total ticket sales to go toward student tickets . For most performances, the majority of student sales consists of students studying performing arts, but Ailey is different.
Based on surveys sent to CPA ticket holders, most student tickets sold for the Alvin Ailey performances are sold to UNC students of all academic years and varying majors.
Sophomore history major Nate Wilcox-Pettit chose to see Ailey as one of his six required African-related performances for his African, African-American and diaspora studies performance class.
“I’ve always been curious about dance and really know nothing about it,” he said. “The fact that Ailey is so expressive and can be appreciated by people who know nothing about dance like I do is really powerful.”
Junior journalism major Michelle Park will see Ailey perform on campus this week for the fourth time. She said she admires the company’s ability to attract a diverse audience by relating to subjects outside of dance.
“They are modern dance, but at the same time there’s more to it than just dance,” she said. “Their ‘Revelations’ piece has a lot of African history and heritage, and I think that’s something that any American can connect to.”