Walking Mad

Johan Inger's Walking Mad
Please Credit Photo: Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in Johan Inger's Walking Mad. Photo by Paul Kolnik

Revered Swedish choreographer Johan Inger’s Walking Mad is his first work for Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. Set to the driving sounds of Ravel’s much-loved Boléro as well as music by minimalist master Arvo Pärt, the rousing 28-minute work for 9 dancers grips audiences throughout, bringing waves of emotion first laughter, then tears. Full of wit and laced with an unsettling edge of madness, the piece employs a long, movable wall that can also be viewed as a symbol of the barriers people construct in their relationships. According to the choreographer, "The famous Boléro from Ravel, with its sexual, almost kitschy history, was the trigger point to make my own version. I quickly decided that it was going to be about relationships in different forms and circumstances. I came up with the idea of a wall that could transform the space during this minimalistic music and create small pockets of space and situations. Walking Mad is a journey in which we encounter our fears, our longings and the lightness of being.” 

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