11/17/18 O&A NYC SATURDAY MORNING CONCERT: Cosby Celebrates Ailey

Cosby Celebrates Ailey conceived, co-produced and written by former Ailey dancer and choreographer George Faison. The program, which was taped more than a year prior to airing, celebrates the 30th anniversary of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater; and features Ailey himself dancing in the opening section. Continue reading

12/25/17 O&A NYC DANCE: Judith Jamison, Kevin Rotardier, and George Faison Perform Revelations Excerpts At The Hollywood Palace (1968)

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The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater performed two excerpts from his masterwork Revelations on the weekly television variety show The Hollywood Palace (1968). The episode hosted by Diahann Carroll helped give the then fledgling dance company national attention. The cast included Judith Jamison, George Faison and Kelvin Rotardier.  Continue reading

12/19/17 O&A NYC DANCE: A Conversation With Jeroboam Bozeman

Jeroboam Bozeman is living his dream. The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s New York City Center season marks Bozeman’s fifth season with the company. This is quite a remarkable feat for any dancer especially for a young man from Brooklyn, who grew up shy and introverted. Continue reading

12/5/17 O&A NYC DANCE: A Conversation With Michael Jackson Jr.

By Walter Rutledge

Michael Jackson, Jr. has spent his career working in the Black dance genre. The gifted dancer, choreographer, teacher, and this season’s Ailey “poster God” began his dance training at age 14 at the Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Washington, D.C. under the direction of Charles Augins. His irrepressible curiosity, athletic physique and pliant musculature help Jackson Jr. quickly excel. Continue reading

11/28/17 O&A NYC DANCE: Ailey Company To Dance George Faison’s Suite Otis At Gala

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.

8/8/17 (Repost) O&A NYC DANCE: Loretta Abbott

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Loretta Abbott, dancer, actress, singer and choreographer passed away on Sunday June 5, 2016. A natural performer Abbott had two passions: her love for dance that spanned over 70 years, and her allegiance to the Harlem community where she lived her entire life. Continue reading

12/29/17 (REPOST) O&A NYC SHALL WE DANCE FRIDAY: A Conversation With Dudley Williams Moderated By Jennifer Dunning (Part One)

On Thursday October 23, 2014 Dance critic and author Jennifer Dunning talked with Dudley Williams about his career that spans almost six decades. Clack Center NYC hosted A Conversation with Dudley Williams at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts Bruno Walter Auditorium, 40 Lincoln Center Plaza at 6pm.. Williams was frank, funny and informative, discussing a wide range of his experiences with some of the world’s most renowned choreographers. 

Continue reading

(REPOST) 12/19/16 O&A NYC DANCE: Jeroboam Bozeman Dance Warrior

By Walter Rutledge

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President Franklin Delano Roosevelt said, “Happiness lies in the joy of achievement and the thrill of creative effort”. Jeroboam Bozeman is living Roosevelt’s observation. At first glance Jeroboam is a quiet, reserved young man with a warm and genuine smile; on stage Bozeman is a dance warrior. This talented 23 years old performer will make his debut with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater during the New York City Center season, which begins on Wednesday, December 4.

Jeroboam Bozeman part one

A native of Brooklyn, New York Jeroboam was one of those fortunate individuals who discovered his “joy of achievement” early in life. He began studying dance at the Ronald Edmonds Learning Center (Junior High School 113) in Brooklyn with Ruth Sistaire. It was Sistaire who soon introduced Jeroboam to Creative Outlet Dance Theater of Brooklyn, a community based dance school and company.

Jeroboam Bozeman part two

Under Artistic Director Jamel Gaines’ guidance Jeroboam got his first real taste of the New York City dance scene. He trained in a nurturing family-like environment with working professionals including former Ailey dancers Shirley Black Brown and Raquelle Chavis. At age 16 he was asked to perform with the company and toured London, England. These experiences with Creative Outlet gave this young artist a chance to see the world, earn income and most importantly build a professional ethos.

Bozeman’s talents were rewarded with full scholarships to attend two of New York City’s most prestigious dance schools, the Joffrey Ballet School and Dance Theatre of Harlem. By age 19 his commitment and hard work paid off once again when he was chosen by choreographer Sarita Allen to performing in the Far East touring company of Elton John and Tim Rice’s musical Aida. These experiences helped shape the aspiring artist, but his career defining moment can when Jeroboam joined Philadanco.

Jeroboam Bozeman part three

The venerable Philadelphia Dance Company known to the general public, as Philadanco was the environment that propelled Bozeman from neophyte to professional. He credits the no nonsense approach of Artistic Director/Founder Joan Myers Brown for his artistic growth. For over 40 years Brown’s strong repertory company has featured choreography by such dance luminaries as Talley Beatty, George Faison, Rennie Harris and Ronald K. Brown; during his three-year association with the company Jeroboam learned to dance beyond the footlights.

A turning point for Bozeman came during the rehearsals of the solo from Faison’s Suite Otis. Former Ailey dancer and current Philadanco Rehearsal Director/coach Debora Chase-Hicks pushed him to find that inner dance warrior. The sessions were a watershed moment for Jeroboam, helping him move his artistry to the next level.

Jeroboam Bozeman part four

Returning to New York in 2012 Bozeman danced with Ailey II under the direction of then newly appointed Artistic Director Troy Powell. Less than a year later he was invited to join the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. As Bozeman makes this next career move he retains a humble teachable spirit, unpretentious demeanor and that exuberate smile. We wish this rising dance warrior much continued success.

Originally posted 12/2/13 for Harlem World Magazine

(REPOST) 12/16/16 O&A NYC SHALL WE DANCE FRIDAY: Judith Jamison, Kevin Rotardier, and George Faison perform Revelations at the Hollywood Palace (1968)

Shall We Dance2009-02-27-judithjamisoninalvinaileysrevelationsphotobyaileyarchives

The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater performed two excerpts from his masterwork Revelations on the weekly television variety show The Hollywood Palace (1968). The episode hosted by Diahann Carroll helped give the then fledgling dance company national attention. The cast included Judith Jamison, George Faison and Kelvin Rotardier.  Continue reading

11/25/16 O&A NYC SHALL WE DANCE FRIDAY: Revelations Excerpts- Hollywood Palace (1968)

Shall We Dance sinner-man

The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater performed two excerpts from his masterwork Revelations on the weekly television variety show The Hollywood Palace (1968). The episode hosted by Diahann Carroll helped give the then fledgling dance company national attention. The cast included Judith Jamison, George Faison, Kelvin Rotardier, and Dudley Williams.  Continue reading