Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, beloved as one of the world’s most popular dance companies and New York City Center’s Principal Dance Company, returns for the 41st consecutive year to the New York City Center stage from November 28, 2012 – December 30, 2012 with exciting performances that have become a joyous holiday tradition. Artistic Director Robert Battle will continue to surprise and delight audiences with premieres and new productions that expand his vision for the company, adding dynamic choreographic voices to the repertory that challenge Ailey’s extraordinary artists in new ways.
Choreographer: Garth Fagan
Music: Ralph MacDonald
From Before is an ensemble piece blending the rhythms of African dance with Caribbean influences beautifully crafted byJamaican-born Garth Fagan, the Tony Award-winning choreographer of The Lion King. The Ailey company premiere is the first time this revered, quintessential work, which distills movement to its purest form and features a jazzy percussive score by Trinidadian Grammy winner Ralph MacDonald, will be staged for a company other than Garth Fagan Dance. Mr. Fagan attributed its popularity with audiences all across the world to “the fluidity of Caribbean dance, the polyrhythms of African, the precision of ballet and the strength and weight of modern dance.”
His many honors include the prestigious 1998 Tony Award for Best Choreography for The Lion King, as well as an Astaire Award, and a Laurence Olivier Award, and he holds an honorary doctorate from the Juilliard School. Currently, Fagan is collaborating with Grammy-winning musician and composer Wynton Marsalis on the world premiere of his newest work, Lighthouse/Lightning Rod at Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) this September in celebration of BAM’s 150th anniversary and Garth Fagan Dance’s 40th anniversary.
Robert Battle comments: “Garth Fagan has a unique and, in a way, abstract approach to movement. There is an element of purity in his work - he’s trying to show all of these different methods and how they mirror one another, but how they’re totally separate in some ways. Garth Fagan is a true original and From Before is a quintessential representation of his artistry.”