Performing arts in the Big Apple – Schools and considerations

For those to whom the strains of the orchestra are the alarm clock, the elegance of dance as the drawing of curtains, and the immersion of drama the invigorating shower, there is a great realization of dreams in New York, global theatre of the performing arts. The Big Apple, bastion of liberty, culture of the cosmopolitan, presents some of the best schools of performing art to the world. 

In the midst of all these selections of performing art schools with variegated names, multi-choice programs and eclectic philosophies of teaching, just how does any passionate evocator of the art of expression via the human medium really choose the institute that will be his or her megawatt guiding lamp along the personal, existentially twisting path?

From the prestigious to the respectable, New York’s performing art schools are stewards of the three cardinal aspects of stagecraft that are music, theater and dance, these being the programs usually foremost in the mind of the young graduate. Any school that would consider itself an institute of the performing arts will have one or more of these courses, usually with a particular focus on one. Which path the artist believes he or she is most inclined to here is a matter of personal preference. 

For the artist who finds divinity in the form of human motion and in personally expressing the ineffable beauty of that form, the performing art schools that have a particular focus on dance are best. Dance art schools in New York are very highly regarded by the world, coming with the richness of dance history with an incredible art and dance movement rarely seen elsewhere. 

When assessing the dance program look for the inspiration you find in the school itself. Does it suit your perceived style of dance or do you feel you need a cultivation of that perception? Understand the particular focus of the school, whether it is more of a research school for the evolution of dance and development of technique, or one where performance on stage is predominant. Getting a feel for the school is very important, you don’t want to spent the next few years getting a greater focus in par de deux when you’d rather be crumping. Then of course the pragmatics such as cost, size of school, all must be considered. If you got a scholarship, fine and dandy, otherwise, the fee structures of the school must be thoroughly reviewed.

For the artist who would delve into the understanding and representation of the human psyche, amplifying and exhibiting the indefinable human spirit, art schools that champion theater and drama would be excellent choices. In New York, perfused with international cultures, the city proves the best place to find these schools. Once again consider the pragmatics, then the feel, your and the public’s perception of the school, and where you believe you will find an inspiration for your art.

Some particular points to note for a drama focused performing arts school is the material you ware likely to be doing. There are schools which have a predilection for dramas of a particular era. Think as to how much Shakespeare you would wish to be doing as opposed to contemporary fresh works and which hold greater artistic allure for you.

For the artists who consider the ear a far more efficient way to the heart of man and revel in the beauty and pureness of tonal expression, the schools of music in New York are ones that have long dazzled the hearts and minds of those with auditory capability. In a city that has birthed virtuosi, singular music artists and entire genres the schools of the musical art in New York are among the best.

Here, a major consideration is of course, the genre of music focused on by the school and the techniques instructed in. You may wish to sing the Ave Maria rather than play it or both and it pays to really understand how the school instructs you in the curriculum and what it will instruct you in. Consider too the history of the school, where it has been and where you see it going and ask yourself if that is the direction you want to head in as well.

Every performing art school in New York has a history, a muse and a fine appreciation for its art. Knock and their doors will be opened for those who burn for art and who desire to make the intangible something to be grasped.

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