Dancer, choreographer, educator and author Donald McKayle passed on April 7, 2018 at age 87. In honor of this dance icon O&A NYC posts his 1959 masterwork, Rainbow Round My Shoulder. Continue reading
By Walter Rutledge
The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater will present an excerpt of George Faison’s masterwork Suite Otis at their New York City Center season opening night gala, Wednesday, November 29 2017. Choreographed in 1971 for the George Faison Universal Dance Experience the work joined the Ailey repertoire in 1977. 40 years after it’s Ailey debut Suite Otis continues to excite and entertain audiences with verve, aplomb, fleet footed technique and imaginative Archimedean storytelling.
The company will perform the finale section set to Otis Redding’s Tenderness. The full cast section reintroduces the dancers creating a visually exciting yet compelling epilog. Throughout the work Faison (the imperial storyteller) does what every choreographer should do- invites us into his vision and delivers with clarity, focus and impeccable choreographic timing.
Balletomanes still long for the return of old fashion honest storytelling- the hallmark of Ailey’s original company. In Suite Otis Faison’s articulate use of the dance narrative genre captures the majesty and universal humanity of both Otis Redding’s music and the black dance experience. This gave him a voice in an era when Black American dance and culture had started to becoming a global force.
Suite Otis- George Faison
What Faison did (and continues to do) is to keep the dance/theatre aesthetic in the forefront of the arts conversation. Tenderness will be performed for one performance only on Wednesday, November 29 for tickets and a complete schedule of the five-week New York City season visit ailey.org.
Talley Beatty choreographed and performed Mourner’s Bench in 1947. It represents the anguish and loss for former slaves, now free men, killed during the Reconstruction Era at the beginning of the rise of the Klu Klux Klan. Beatty explained to me, “People were murdered by the Klan and at daybreak their relatives would find their bodies in the fields still covered in the morning dew.”
The original two man duo in Cirque du Soleil’s Zumanity created by Patrick King and performed by King and Johan King Silverhult. Stunning choreography with a chic homoerotic twist. Enjoy! Continue reading
Malcolm X was born Malcolm Little on May 19, 1925 in Omaha, Nebraska. “You can’t separate peace from freedom because no one can be at peace unless he has his freedom.”- Malcolm X Continue reading
Jamel Gaines and Creative Outlet Dance Theatre of Brooklyn (with guest artists) presents dance theatre, which combines elements of theater, spoken word/poetry, moving image and live music. Gaines uses dance to address social and cultural issues. Continue reading
“When Light Ceases To Exist And Darkness Consumes the Theater Three Glowing Figures Materialize From The Void.”
The original two man duo in Cirque du Soleil’s Zumanity created by Patrick King and performed by King and Jesse Robb. Stunning choreography with a chic homoerotic twist. Enjoy! Continue reading
By Walter Rutledge
Untitled America, Kyle Abraham’s latest work for the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, brings to light the revolving door of the U.S. penal system. The work had its official premiered on December 7th during the Ailey’s New York City Center Season November 30 through December 31. Recently O&A NYC had an opportunity to sit down with this talented artist to discuss the work, his choreographic process and philosophy. Continue reading
Geoffrey Holder’s Banda dance debuted in the 1954 Truman Capote/Harold Arlen musical House Of Flowers. Holder the Baron of The Cemetery (based on the Haitian Loa of Death Baron Samedi) and received both a performer and choreographer credit in the program. The Broadway musical takes place somewhere in the West Indies during Mardi Gras weekend. Continue reading