It's very telling that, even at 60, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater continues to break new ground. As part of its annual visit to Atlanta's Fox Theatre, the company is presenting its first ever two-part ballet, "Lazarus," in honor of the company's 60th anniversary season.
In the sun-soaked foyer of Atlanta's National Center for Civil and Human Rights, a tall, lean young man guided about 40 dance students last month as they learned an excerpt from Alvin Ailey's masterpiece Revelations. Christopher R. Wilson, a native of Augusta, Georgia, and a first-year member of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, moved with ease and elegance between lines of young dancers, calling directions in a voice that matched the choreography's rhythm and cadence.
The New York City-based Alvin Ailey Dance Theater held a public workshop Wednesday night, giving local dancers across South Florida a chance to learn some of the company's iconic choreography.
Sometimes, the less said, the better. Even when kicking off a triumphant occasion, such as the 60th anniversary of a modern dance company, which is, by the way, a monumental mile-marker in the economically stressed field of dance. On Tuesday night at the Kennedy Center, Alvin Ailey Artistic Director Robert Battle kept his opening remarks blissfully simple. At the D.C. premiere of a work he'd commissioned to celebrate six decades as a primarily African American dance company, Battle spoke of the late company founder Ailey as 'a black man who had a vision 60 years ago, and here we are, living in his wake."
A dinner-and-dance homage paid tribute to Alvin Ailey, as his company turns 60, at this season's opening gala in New York.
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Ailey's troupe, timeless yet current. New York City Center celebrated its 75th anniversary last week. That milestone nearly coincided with the annual five-week Christmas season of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, the theater's first resident modern dance company, itself celebrating an anniversary this year, its 60th.
This theater, for this city. New York City Center Theater celebrated its 75th anniversary on Tuesday night. That milestone neatly coincides with the annual five-week Christmas season of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, the theater’s first resident modern dance company, itself celebrating an anniversary this year: its 60th.
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 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.