Choreography: Aszure Barton
Original Music: Curtis Macdonald
This propulsive world premiere by in-demand choreographer Aszure Barton, her first commission for Ailey, accentuates the vitality and physical prowess of the Ailey company. Driven by the dancers’ passion, skill and collective power, LIFT was created over a 5-week developmental process with the entire Company. The original percussive score, composed by Curtis Macdonald, is infused with the infectious energy and heart that she observed in her initial encounters with the Ailey dancers. With a collaborative stylistic approach that is constantly evolving like no other, Barton’s exhilarating new work celebrates and challenges the dancers with its markedly intricate rhythmic patterns and mercurial structure. “LIFT embodies an atmosphere and energy created by our time spent together in collaboration,” stated Barton. “I feel very welcomed by the Ailey family and am honored to be working with such a wonderful group of artists.” Dance Magazine described her work as “vulnerable and feisty, brightly adept yet peculiar, witty and impetuously wild.” Born and raised in Alberta, Canada, Barton received her formal training at the National Ballet School in Toronto. Barton has created works for Mikhail Baryshnikov, The National Ballet of Canada, Nederlands Dans Theater, American Ballet Theatre, the Martha Graham Dance Company, Sydney Dance Company, and Les Ballet Jazz de Montréal (Resident Choreographer 2005-08), and also choreographed the Broadway revival production of The Threepenny Opera. She recently received the Banff Centre’s 2012 Koerner Award for Choreography and Canada’s prestigious Arts and Letters Award for her outstanding choreographic achievements.
Robert Battle comments: “I’ve known Aszure for many years and have watched her develop a unique voice, with bold choices in her choreography and in her approach. Her work is physically demanding, detail oriented, visceral, and both abstract and dramatic – a great fit for the Company. I was interested in the dancers having a process that was really motivated by their artistry. And, after spending time with the dancers on tour, Aszure used the inspiration of seeing and experiencing them in many different settings as the impetus for the entire work, including the score by her collaborator Curtis Macdonald. “