Ulysses Dove proclaiming a thoroughly exhilarating vision of female power and strength in Vespers. Inspired by Dove’s memories of his grandmother’s place of worship, this dramatic work showcases the athleticism and grace of six female dancers who are propelled by Mikel Rouse’s profound electronic score. Continue reading
By Walter Rutledge
The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater presented a Brooklyn dance series June 6th thru 11th at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM). The six-day seven performance series offered two well curated programs of new works and Ailey classics. The Saturday evening performance consisted of four works by four modern dance luminaries, Kyle Abraham, Robert Battle, Ron Brown and Paul Taylor. Continue reading
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
By Walter Rutledge
Clive Thompson danced in the Golden Era of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. Officially becoming a permanent member in 1970 when choreographer Ailey was entering a creative zenith. He viral good looks, skillful partnering, and his ability to capture audiences in both dramatic and abstract roles made him Ailey royalty. Continue reading
By Walter Rutledge
There is only one George Faison! Dancer, choreographer, teacher, director, playwright, social activist, entrepreneur and friend. George has been one of my inspirations and artistic standard bearers for most of my career. In 2017 the Ailey American Dance Theater presented an excerpt of Suite Otis, his iconic tribute to Otis Redding. Faison sat down to talk about this masterwork, experiences in the Ailey Company and his arts aesthetic. Happy Birthday George.
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 Euclidean 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.
On March 15th, 2021 Samantha Figgins and Yannick Lebrun of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater transformed an empty Queens Museum through movement. Continue reading
Champion has announced a new collaboration with Tremaine Emory to release a new collection titled Champion Tears.The collection is based around Champion’s Reverse Weave fabrics and its historic archive, with Emory also taking influence from the influential Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. Continue reading
Ailey Celebrates Juneteenth is an uplifting program that features performance highlights from Alvin Ailey’s Cry and Revelations, as well as Rennie Harris’ Lazarus. Continue reading
Donald Byrd’s fifth Ailey commission draws on the Company’s theatrical roots and legacy of addressing social injustice. The work’s title references a 1921 tragedy that happened in Tulsa, Oklahoma’s segregated Greenwood District. At the time, it was one of the country’s most affluent African American communities, known as “Black Wall Street.” Continue reading
Ailey All Access presents the online encore of Alvin Ailey’s Night Creature. This classic work is a perfect fusion of Ailey’s buoyant choreography and Duke Ellington’s sparkling music. Continue reading