Anytime you tell someone you reside in Manhattan, usually the first thing out of their mouth is, “How much do you pay in rent?”, followed by, “New York is soooo expensive.” And that is precisely where I get to pull out my argument that actually, New York can be one of the most affordable places to live if you play your cards correctly.
For instance, if you want to see the best dance in the world, you don’t have to spend money for a ticket to the NYC Ballet. For theater, you don’t have to skip meals for a week to afford a Broadway ticket. And to hear amazing classical music you absolutely don’t have to sell a kidney to splurge on season tickets at the NY Philharmonic. What you do instead is head right next door to Juilliard, the world renowned performing arts school that offers tons of free performances all throughout the school year presented by tomorrow’s best artists. Not only are you getting free art at its best, but you’re ahead of the game in discovering New York’s next star.
A few weeks ago I caught the performance New Dances: Edition 2011, featuring Juilliard Dancers and their four world-premiere commissions. These dances were beautiful enough to move me to tears (which isn’t saying much, as I tend to get misty eyed watching re-runs of Army Wives). However, what does speak volumes is the reaction of my friend who accompanied me to the performance only under the condition that I could not get mad if he fell asleep…well. Not only did he not fall asleep, but he remarked that it was one of the most riveting performances he’s ever seen, and asked when the next one was. Case in point.
Some of the performances require free tickets, which can be picked up at the Juilliard Box Office ahead of time. For a complete list of shows, visit their calendar. And no more excuses as to how NYC is too expensive: not only is it free, it’s right in your own backyard.
WHERE: Juilliard Box Office
155 West 65th Street
New York, New York
WHEN: Box Office hours are: Monday–Friday 11:00am–6:00pm
By: Jessica Tiare Bowen