Ailey's troupe, timeless yet current. New York City Center celebrated its 75th anniversary last week. That milestone nearly coincided with the annual five-week Christmas season of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, the theater's first resident modern dance company, itself celebrating an anniversary this year, its 60th.
AKUA NONI PARKER (Kinston, NC) began professional dance training at the Academy of the Dance in Wilmington, Delaware. After graduating high school she joined Dance Theatre of Harlem, where she performed principal roles in George Balanchine’sAgon, Serenade, and The Four Temperaments, as well as the title role in Michael Smuin’s St. Louis Woman. Ms. Parker was also a company member with the Cincinnati Ballet and Ballet San Jose, and had the honor of being the first African-American ballerina to dance the role of the Sugar Plum Fairy in Ballet San Jose’s The Nutcracker. Since joining the Company in 2008, Ms. Parker has performed featured roles in Mr. Ailey’s Blues Suite, Night Creature, Masekela Langage, The River, and Cry. She has also performed featured roles in Jiří Kylián’s Petite Mort, Wayne McGregor’s Chroma, and the title role in Geoffrey Holder’sProdigal Prince. To see Ms. Parker’s outside projects and interests, follow her on Instagram @onlyupward.