4/13/24 O&A NYC DANCE REVIEW: Ailey II

By Walter Rutledge

Ailey II began their six-day, eight performance New York City season Tuesday, April 9th at the Joyce Theater. This season marked the fiftieth anniversary of the company, which has left an indelible mark on the Ailey organization and the dance world at large. The company is a dance finishing school, touring boot camp, and a choreographer’s laboratory for emerging dance makers and established choreographers. Continue reading

1/3/23 O&A NYC DANCE REVIEW: The Genius of Alvin Ailey

By Walter Rutledge

Another bout of Covid (our third slow dance) prevented me from seeing the new works presented during the first and second weeks of the Ailey season. When Covid and I finished our Rumba, I attended an All-Ailey matinee featuring four works, Night Creature, Cry, Survivors and Revelations.   Continue reading

10/6/23 O&A NYC SHALL WE DANCE FRIDAY: Alvin Ailey’s “Mary Lou’s Mass” and “Hidden Rites” Excerpts

Mary Lou’s Mass (1971) with John Parks, Dudley Williams and Clive Thompson and Hidden Rites (1973) with John Parks and Judith Jamison Continue reading

2/14/24 O&A NYC ST. VALENTINE’S DAY DANCE: Dudley Williams- Alvin Ailey’s Love Songs

d90704264383da96da61f51bc870f967In 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

11/25/22 O&A NYC SHALL WE DANCE FRIDAY: Alvin Ailey’s Revelations (1960),


Alvin Ailey’s masterwork Revelations (1960), one of the most recognizable modern dance works, remains a powerful testament to the human spirit. This cast includes Marilyn Banks, April Berry, Kevin Brown, Gary DeLoatch, Ralph Glenmore, Deborah Manning, Renee Robinson and Dudley Williams. 

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1/17/21 O&A NYC DANCE THEATRE: Only In The Darkness- Dance Of The Village Elders- Dance Of The Village Elders

By Walter Rutledge

The senior performing ensemble Dance Of The Village Elders performs Only In The Darkness You Can See The Stars. Based on their experiences during the turbulent Civil Rights Era. 

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8/21/21 O&A NYC DIVO ALERT TRIBUTE: Faison, Godreau and Williams- Road of the Pheobe Snow

Divo Alert! George Faison, Miguel Godreau and Dudley Williams dance in an excerpt from Talley Beatty’s The Road Of The Pheobe Snow with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. Continue reading

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

By Walter Rutledge

d90704264383da96da61f51bc870f967

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

1/9/21 O&A NYC SUNDAY AFTERNOON JAZZ CONCERT: 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

1/3/20 O&A NYC SHALL WE DANCE FRIDAY: Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater- Revelations


Alvin Ailey’s masterwork Revelations (1960), one of the most recognizable modern dance works, remains a powerful testament to the human spirit. This cast includes Marilyn Banks, April Berry, Kevin Brown, Gary DeLoatch, Ralph Glenmore, Deborah Manning, Renee Robinson and Dudley Williams. 

Continue reading