When the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater company takes to the stage of New York City Center for the opening of its 60th anniversary on Wednesday night, it will have an unexpected guest of sorts. Namely, Alvin Ailey himself.
As the associate artistic director of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, which returns to the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark this weekend, Masazumi Chaya can drop into the studio anytime and watch any rehearsal he pleases.
Masazumi Chaya was expected to follow his parents' footsteps in medicine but was drawn to theater. After graduating from high school, he worked as a dresser for film and TV star ferry Ito, who encouraged him to study singing, acting, and dance.
The voice on the phone belonged to Masazumi Chaya, the associate artistic director of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, and he had a startling proposition. Would she - Elizabeth Roxas-Dobrish, 55 years old, former Ailey superstar and current artificial-hip owner - come out of retirement to dance at a special performance on New Year's Eve?
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater associate artistic director Masazumi Chaya had quite a bit of catching up to do when he moved to the United States from Japan.
When Robert Battle, the artistic director of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, addressed the audience on opening night at New York City Center, he brought a prop along with him: a seat belt. "Next year," he joked, "we're going to sell them in the gift shop."
Dec. 1: The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater celebrated 50 years of its signature work, "Revelations," and Joan H. Weill's 10th anniversary as board chairwoman.
AAADT's Associate Artistic Director keeps the repertory sharp.
Nothing defines a dance company likes its repertory.
In a well-known segment of Alvin Ailey's signature dance, ''Revelations,'' performed to the spiritual ''Wade in the Water,'' dancers wave swaths of billowy blue fabric to simulate a river.