5/15/20 O&A NYC SHALL WE DANCE FRIDAY: Alvin Ailey’s For ‘Bird’ – With Love (1984)- Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater

A tribute to the great jazz musician Charlie “Bird” Parker, For ‘Bird’ – With Love brings the audience back to the relaxed atmosphere of an after-hours jam session at a local jazz club. Continue reading

4/17/20 O&A NYC SHALL WE DANCE FRIDAY: Judith Jamison- Josephslegende (The Legend of Joseph)

Josephslegende (The Legend of Joseph), Op. 63, is a ballet in one act for the Ballets Russes based on the story of Potiphar’s Wife, with a libretto by Hofmannsthal and Kessler and music by Richard Strauss. Composed in 1912–14, it premiered at the Paris Opera on 14 May 1914. Continue reading

4/11/20 O&A NYC SATURDAY MORNING CONCERT: Louis Johnson’s Forces of Rhythm (Excerpts) Dance Theatre Of Harlem


Dance Theatre of Harlem mourns the loss of the great Louis Johnson. His ballet, Forces of Rhythm choreographed in 1971, became a signature piece for the Dance Theatre of Harlem Company, finding its place alongside the works of George Balanchine, Arthur Mitchell, Geoffrey Holder, and other choreographers for the fledging ballet company. Continue reading

4/4/20 O&A NYC SATURDAY MORNING CONCERT: Appalachian Spring

Graham Letter to World 1

Appalachian Spring premiered on October 30th, 1944, at the Library of Congress, Coolidge Auditorium in Washington DC, with Martha Graham dancing the lead role. Created during the darkest days of War World II Graham wanted to create inspiring art that came out of the American experience.  Graham spoke of the work, “To be great art… it must belong to the country in which it flourishes, not be a pale copy of some art form perfected by another culture and another people”. Continue reading

3/22/20 O&A NYC GOSPEL SUNDAY: Alvin Ailey’s Cry With Yolanda Adams and Jacqueline Green (Black Girls Rock 2018)

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater dancer and Baltimore School for the Arts alumna Jacqueline Green ’07 performs Ailey’s iconic solo Cry (1972).  Continue reading

2/28/20 O&A NYC SHALL WE DANCE FRIDAY: Mourner’s Bench- Talley Beatty Choreographer

mourn2Talley 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.”

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2/14/20 O&A NYC SHALL WE DANCE FRIDAY- CELEBRATING BLACK HISTORY MONTH: Rainbow Round My Shoulder- Donald McKayle with Mary Hinkson

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Donald McKayle’s 1959 masterwork, Rainbow Round My Shoulder, is acclaimed as a modern dance classic. A searing dramatic narrative, it is set on a chain gang in the American south where prisoners work, breaking rock from “can see to can’t see.” Their aspirations for freedom come in the guise of a woman, first as a vision then as a remembered sweetheart, mother, and wife. The songs that accompany their arduous labor are rich in polyphony and tell a bitter, sardonic, and tragic story. It was created for the Donald McKayle Dance Company, and has been in the repertoire of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Batsheva Dance Company and Dayton Contemporary Dance, among others. The cast in the video excerpt includes Donald McKayle and Mary Hinkson. Continue reading

1/25/20 O&A NYC SATURDAY MORNING CONCERT- DANCE: City of Rain by Camille A. Brown

 

City of Rain by choreographer  Camille A. Brown performed by the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University (2015). Continue reading

12/28/19 O&A NYC DANCE REVIEW: Fandango- Pure Magic

By Walter Rutledge 

Actress, author and burlesque entertainer Gyspy Rose Lee once said, “If a thing is worth doing, it worth doing slowly… very slowly”. Fandango by choreographer Lar Lubovitch embodies Lee’s philosophy and more. Instead of flashy flurries of movement, the sensual duet performed by Danica Paulos and Clifton Brown; and set to Maurice Ravel’s contemporary classic chestnut Bolero, smoldered with a steady and intense heat. Continue reading

12/8/19 O&A NYC DANCE: A Conversation With Yannick LeBrun- Ailey’s Danseur Noble

By Walter Rutledge 

A danseur noble is a male dancer who projects great nobility of character. A dancer who performs at the highest theatrical level combining exceptional grace, technique and strength. In a prior review I referred to Ailey principal dancer Yannick LeBrun as a danseur noble. It was not one performance or one season that brought me to that conclusion, but a career collective. Continue reading