(Repost) 8/18/21 O&A NYC TRIBUTE: A Song For You (1986) Dudley Williams August 18, 1938- May 31, 2015

By Walter Rutledge

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In 2003 I telephoned Ailey Dancer Emeritus Dudley Williams. At that time he was a 39 year veteran of the Ailey Company, one year from a forty year milestone as an Ailey dancer. The Bearden Foundation and The Nanette Bearden Contemporary Dance Theater were planning a centennial celebration for internationally renowned artist Romare Bearden. The dance company would present a new work On The Block based on the six panel mural by Bearden, which is in the permanent collection at the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art. 

I introduced myself and explained the projected; we wanted him to play an abusive husband opposite Hope Clark. I finished the introduction with “I have called you the Lyric Crown Prince of modern dance but in this work I’m going to need you to be a real son of a bitch”. He paused then quickly responded “I can do that”. This began a working relationship and friendship that would last until his death. I still miss Dudley’s dry wit and even drier Bombay Blue Sapphire Martini. I know that you are still dancing this solo probably with Alvin directing and Donny singing. Happy Birthday Dudley Continue reading

(Repost) 8/20/21 O&A NYC SHALL WE DANCE FRIDAY- TRIBUTE: Three Black Kings- An Ailey Classic

By Walter Rutledge

3-blk-kngsThree Black Kings was the last dance and music collaboration between choreographer Alvin Ailey and composer/musician Duke Ellington.  Continue reading

8/19/21 (REPOST) O&A NYC TRIBUTE: A Conversation With Dudley Williams Moderated By Jennifer Dunning

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. 

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8/6/16 (REPOST) Tribute To Dudley Williams: A Song For You (1986)

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In 1972, Alvin Ailey created the elegiac solo Love Songs for dancer Dudley Williams. The  sixteen minute solo, composed in three sections includes A Song for You by Donny Hathaway; Poppies by Nina Simone; and He Ain’t Heavy, He’s my Brother by Donny Hathaway. Many  thought of the work as the male equivalent of the female solo Cry (1971). Continue reading

2/26/16 O&A NYC SHALL WE DANCE FRIDAY: Dudley Williams Dances Alvin Ailey’s Love Songs

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Shall We Dance

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In 1972, Alvin Ailey created the elegiac solo Love Songs for dancer Dudley Williams. The  sixteen minute solo, composed in three sections includes A Song for You by Donny Hathaway; Poppies by Nina Simone; and He Ain’t Heavy, He’s my Brother by Donny Hathaway. Many  thought of the work as the male equivalent of the female solo Cry (1971). Continue reading

6/5/15 O&A Shall We Dance- A Tribute To Dudley Williams: A Song For You (1986)

Shall We Dance d90704264383da96da61f51bc870f967

In 1972, Alvin Ailey created the elegiac solo Love Songs for dancer Dudley Williams. The  sixteen minute solo, composed in three sections includes A Song for You by Donny Hathaway; Poppies by Nina Simone; and He Ain’t Heavy, He’s my Brother by Donny Hathaway. Many  thought of the work as the male equivalent of the female solo Cry (1971). Continue reading

6/2/15 O&A NYC Magazine: Dance Legend Dudley Williams Has Passed

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The dance world mourns the loss of its Lyric Prince; Dudley Williams has passed. The details are still unfolding; but more important than the circumstances surrounding his death, is how he inspired everyone who ever met him through his giving, humble spirit. Over the last twelve years Dudley became a colleague, friend, and confidante. We shared an appreciation for many things, two that were always paramount: dance that could reach beyond the footlights and touched your soul, and a very dry martini. Continue reading

7/8/15 O&A Song Of The Day: Lalah Hathaway- A Song For You On BET’s Apollo Live

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Lalah Hathaway sings her father’s song on BET’s “Apollo Live.” Donny Hathaway is the greatest soul singer/musician/artist of all time. A Song For You is perhaps his greatest record. Lalah virtually channels her dad’s spiritual essence in this classic performance.   Continue reading

3/3/17 (REPOST) O&A Shall We Dance Friday: A Conversation With Dudley Williams Moderated By Jennifer Dunning (Part One)

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On Thursday October 23, 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. Dance critic and author Jennifer Dunning talked with Williams about his career that spans almost six decades. Williams was frank, funny and informative, discussing a wide range of his experiences with some of the world’s most renowned choreographers.  Continue reading