When Alvin Ailey and a small group of African-American modern dancers first took the stage at the 92nd Street Y in 1958, it was groundbreaking and revolutionary. Revelations captured the agony and triumphs of the African American experiences. Now six decades later, his multi-cultural dance company is still charting a new course in its 60th season at City Center.
No Longer Silent
The formidable Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater closes its spring season at Lincoln Center this week with a challenging "21st Century Voices" bill that features new and recent work by four African-American choreographers, all mid-career award-winners deserving of their exposure.
What do dance and social justice have in common? "No Longer Silent," a new piece from the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, provides one answer.
The rise of the Nazis meant the demise of Czech composer Erwin Schulhoff, whose jazz-inspired, avant-garde classical compositions were blacklisted as the work of a Jew. Under German occupation in Prague starting in 1939, Schulhoff desperately tried to escape to the United States, then to the Soviet Union, but he was arrested in 1941 and died the next year at the Wulzburg concentration camp in Bavaria.
"Art is universal; art connects people." Those sentiments may seem trite -- maybe even cliche to the point of losing meaning. But sometimes a notion or phrase becomes trite because it is true.
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater showed that a popular song, no matter how beloved, can kill a dance, and that a forgotten score can inspire a choreographer to explore an unfamiliar world. Continuing its season at the David H. Koch Theater on Wednesday, the company bookended two works by its founder -- "Night Creature," led by a beaming Hope Boykin, and "Revelations" -- with a restaging of a duet and a new production of a powerful group work.