Few dance companies are more prestigious and competitive to get into than Manhattan-based Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. So, despite years of training and confidence in the skills she’d honed, Bronx native Khalia Campbell was stunned when she was asked to join in 2018. “I cried and cried,” she says. “I was totally in shock, but I was elated and I was grateful. I think that’s the best word to describe the feeling I had — grateful. One could say that it was destined to be.” “I don’t come from a musical background, but my dad was pretty musically inclined,” Campbell says of her father, who died when she was 1. “He was a DJ and he also played the drums. He used to put his headsets around my mom’s stomach when she was pregnant with me, so I just came out being able to listen to rhythm and move to it."
Alvin Ailey’s artistic director Robert Battle discusses the film “Ailey,” which profiles the legendary choreographer and includes historic performances and interviews.
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s Jacqueline Green is featured in “Really Love” performing an excerpt of Alvin Ailey’s Cry.
News 12 Brooklyn - Local Samba Dancing Instructor Breaks Down Transitioning To Virtual Dance Classes
The pandemic did not stop New Yorkers from working up a sweat inside their homes through virtual dance classes. From keeping the beat to ending with a strong finish, Samba instructor Danielle Lima makes sure students get in a good workout during her class even though they aren't actually in the room. The pandemic didn't stop Lima from moving her feet.
Dance Teacher - What My Teacher Taught Me: Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s Solomon Dumas On Lisa Johnson-Willingham
When I was in high school, my friends at The Chicago Academy for the Arts told me about Lisa Johnson-Willingham, an impressive former Ailey dancer who was teaching Horton at Joel Hall Dancers & Center on Thursday nights. I decided I ought to give her class a try. The first time I went, I didn’t even pay for class. In fact, I don’t think I ever paid for her class. She was tough as nails, but she was always generous. The room was packed with people from all over the city. From modern dancers to professional ballet dancers to young students—everyone wanted to learn from her. Her classroom got so hot from sweaty bodies that the windows completely fogged up and contrasted the cold night outside.
Last summer, Jonathan Stafford, the artistic director of New York City Ballet, was feeling isolated and anxious. It was a few months into the pandemic, and the strangeness of lockdown and the turmoil and urgency of the Black Lives Matter protests were on his mind. City Ballet’s performances, programs and plans had come to an abrupt halt — as they had for performing arts organizations across the country. No one knew when or how theaters would open again. Stafford called Robert Battle, the artistic director of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, to chat. “This is great,” Battle said after they had spoken for a while. “I wish we were talking to other artistic directors.”
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s coming season at New York City Center will celebrate Robert Battle’s 10 years as artistic director, the company announced Wednesday. After the difficulties of the past 17 months, Battle is more open to embracing the occasion than he might otherwise have been.
Director Jamila Wignot discusses AILEY, which is out now in theaters.
Memory was the anchor of famed choreographer Alvin Ailey’s work, the fuel behind the joy and restraint in his massively successful fusion of Black culture, theater and modern dance in the 20th century. That’s what those who knew and worked with him say in new documentary “Ailey,” which examines Ailey’s life and explores how to best remember a man who died more than 30 years ago but still lives on in the steps of those learning the moves he committed to dance doctrine.
After a year of solo practices and virtual performances, dancers are back on stage doing what they do best: performing in front of live audiences. But for some of the field’s biggest and most transformative stars, choreographing the future of an art form steeped in tradition means leaving some things in the past.