Endurance, survival, getting through troubled times: the program that the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater presented at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion on Wednesday focused on crucial life lessons - some of them grim.
Matthew Rushing was born in Los Angeles, CA. He began his dance training with Kashmir Blake in Inglewood, CA and later continued his training at the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts. He is the recipient of a Spotlight Award and Dance Magazine Award and was named a Presidential Scholar in the Arts. He was a scholarship student at The Ailey School and later became a member of Ailey II, where he danced for a year. During his career, Mr. Rushing has performed as a guest artist for galas in Vail, Colorado, as well as in Austria, Canada, France, Italy, and Russia. He has performed for Presidents George H. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama, as well as at the 2010 White House Dance Series. During his time with the Company he has choreographed three ballets: Acceptance In Surrender (2005), a collaboration with Hope Boykin and Abdur Rahim-Jackson, and Uptown (2009), a tribute to the Harlem Renaissance, and ODETTA (2014), a celebration of “The queen of American folk.” In 2012, he created Moan, which was set on Philadanco and premiered at The Joyce Theater. Mr. Rushing joined the Company in 1992 and became Rehearsal Director in June 2010.