Modern dance is waning in popularity, and young people don't seem to feel as connected with the work anymore. So what's a 60-year-old ballet company like Alvin Ailey to do to seem limber again?
When former South Elgin and Bartlett resident Sarah Daley was growing up, she became an instant fan of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater after seeing the company perform at Chicago's Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University.
Everyone expects professional dancers to be in great shape. But a company like Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, with an annual five-week season in New York, 150 days a year on tour and over 200 performances annually, requires Herculean physical strength and extraordinary mental clarity. Each Ailey dancer develops a personalized regimen to sustain their energy and ward off injuries, all while maintaining some semblance of "normal" life.
Because Sarah Daley's dance career seems very directed - from an Ailey/Fordham BFA to Ailey II and, for the last three years, at Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater - it comes as a surprise that she can be easily bored. "I glaze over when things are the same all the time," she says, explaining the appeal of Ailey's wide-ranging repertoire.
When Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater announced its spring performance in Chicago, Sarah Daley was delighted. Having traveled all over the world performing, Ms. Daley loves visiting her hometown.
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater has been captivating audiences for more than fifty years, amassing a repertoire of more than two hundred works from more than eighty choreographers since its founding by Alvin Ailey in 1958 at the 92nd St. Y.
In middle school, Sarah Daley came to Chicago's Auditorium Theater to see ALvin Ailey American Dance Theater perform. She left inspired, but never anticipating that a few years later, at 25, she would be getting ready to perform on that very stage as part of the acclaimed company.
Dancer Sarah Daley is living her dream as a new member of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, the 54-year-old modern dance company world-famous for celebrating African-American culture. Dancing with the Alvin Ailey company is something that Daley - a former resident of South Elgin and Bartlett, among other places - planned for at an early age.