“I just can’t for the life of me believe that this is a second company,” a woman said to no one in particular as the lights came up for the first intermission of the Dance St. Louis showcase of Ailey II Saturday night at the Touhill Performing Arts Center. The woman couldn’t contain her excitement after seeing the troupe’s performance of “Still,” which was choreographed by St. Louis transplant and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater alum Kirven Douthit-Boyd.
Revelations (Ailey II)
The famed dancers perform "Rock My Soul in the Bosom of Abraham" live from Times Square.
One way students can explore dance's past is by learning historical repertory. Ailey/Fordham BFA students take Black Traditions in American Dance and World Dance History, which are often coordinated with repertory classes. "The movement shows you a different side of what you're learning in the classroom," says Marie Paspe, a recent graduate of the program, who learned Blues Suite and Revelations from Ailey II artistic director emerita Sylvia Waters.
Alberta Ballet has worked hard for a very long time to bring Ailey II, the young company of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, to Alberta for good reason. This is a had-working fun-to-watch group of budding athletic dance artists comprising some of the company's most promising scholarship students, and they thrilled their audience Thursday night at the Southern Alberta Jubilee.
"Revelations" had its debut Jan. 31, 1960, at the 92nd St. Y, after which it became the signature choreographic piece for Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, and the most performed work of contemporary modern dance in the world.