Alvin Ailey is a name synonymous with both world-class ballet and the black American experience. Ailey founded his dance company in 1958 to showcase the best black talent, and, in 1969, a school of dance. And last night, the company celebrated its school’s 50th anniversary, at Lincoln Center.
In 1979, a young New York City boy met Alvin Ailey at his public elementary school during a dance workshop; unbeknownst to him it was an audition. Then nine-year-old Troy Powell had no idea who Mr. Ailey was and no formal dance training, although he came from a large African American family where dance was interwoven into their everyday home life. "I was handpicked to join the first children's program at The Ailey School, and the experience made a huge impact and changed my life," says Powell, who continued to climb the ranks through the School's professional division, Ailey II, and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. He succeeded Sylvia Waters in 2012 as Ailey II's Artistic Director.
Troy Powell remembers the late Alvin Ailey fondly. The legendary choreographer saw something in Powell at nine years old and recruited him for a children’s program after leading a masterclass at his elementary school. Perhaps that’s why, when asked about Ailey’s legacy, Powell says simply, “It's magical.”
NY1's Stephanie Simon visits Ailey II's artistic director, Troy Powell, and dancers Corrin Rachelle Mitchell and Leonardo Brito, for a sneak peek into Powell's first work for the company, Ebb and Flow. Ailey II will be performing at NYU's Skirball Theatre March 13-17.
The Next Generation of Dance will take the stage this week at NYU Skirball, continuing a 60-year legacy. Artistic Director Troy Powell and dancer Alisha Peek discussed the event with 1010 WINS Sharon Barnes-Waters on a recent episode of "City Views."
Ruschell Boone looks at the history of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater with current and former artistic directors Robert Battle and Judith Jamison. They also discuss the 60th season, which is having performances at New York City Center through December 30th.
Ailey II, the dynamic company of 12 young, talented dancers performing works by emerging innovative choreographers, returns to New York for its annual season at the Ailey Citigroup Theater, March 14 to March 25. This season's program includes works Artistic Director Troy Powell says offer New York audiences an opportunity "to experience the strength and grace of exciting choreographers on the rise in the dance world and works that also showcase the virtuosity, energy and prowess of Ailey II dancers."
Dance Spirit - Talking Pre-Show Rituals, Self-Care, New Season Highlights, And More With Ailey II's Jessica Amber Pinkett
Every March, when NYC is deep in the winter blues, Ailey II's exciting season fires up at just the right moment. And this year is no different: They've got a roster of fiercely talented dancers, and a slew of premieres (as well as returning favorites) to boot. Dance Spirit caught up with Jessica Amber Pinkett, now in her second season with Ailey II, for a rundown on her rehearsals, pre-performance rituals, and more.
When Troy Powell talks about the power of dance, you can almost see his face light up 600 miles away in Red Wing, Minn., where the Ailey II dance company is performing a week before arriving in Toledo. "We are all dancers in our own right," the artistic director says with the zeal of a missionary. "When I say dancing, I mean everyone is born to move. Everyone's born with a rhythm, that heartbeat or tone."
Troy Powell is carrying on the legacy of legendary choreographer Alvin Ailey with Ailey II, the young, 12-member dance company that will perform tonight at the Aspen District Theatre. Powell, the artistic director of Ailey II, has spent nearly his entire life exploring and performing Ailey's groundbreaking work reflecting the African-American journey.