Ruschell Boone looks at the history of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater with current and former artistic directors Robert Battle and Judith Jamison. They also discuss the 60th season, which is having performances at New York City Center through December 30th.
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.
In honor of Black History Month, we spoke with Alvin Ailey stars Constance Stamatiou and Jamar Roberts on what it means to be performers of color in the dance world. Hear about their upbringing, obstacles they've faced in the industry, and what being part of a renowned African American dance company means to them. All performed over a riveting rendition of "Fix Me Jesus" from Alvin Ailey's Revelations.
"I take it almost like a mission," Yannick Lebrun of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater said of performing "Sinner Man" from "Revelations," Ailey's 1960 masterpiece set to African-American spirituals. " 'Sinner Man' is a very powerful, propulsive section of 'Revelations' that shows who we are as Ailey men, but it definitely also has a deeper story: You're running for your life."
In 1960, America was in the midst of a social transformation. The Supreme Court had ruled "separate but equal" unconstitutional six years prior, but the country's response was slow and turbulent as desegregation incited violent responses. Surrounded by powerful civil rights momentum, a 29-year-old Alvin Ailey created an ode to the resilience of the human spirit: Revelations.
Paris isn’t lacking for new music venues. After the Philharmonie, another major construction project was completed in April: La Seine Musicale, in the south-western suburb of Boulogne. Designed by Shigeru Ban and Jean de Gastines, it occupies a third of the tiny Seguin Island on the Seine, hugging its shoreline; the flagship auditorium sits on one end like an oversized Fabergé egg, with rotating solar panels curving over it.
A professional dancer's body is a finely tuned instrument of movement and expression. And there are no more impeccably calibrated, eloquent "instruments" than those who make up the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.
Talk about electrifying. The arrival of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater for its annual spring season at the Auditorium Theatre is invariably a reason to celebrate.
Endurance, survival, getting through troubled times: the program that the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater presented at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion on Wednesday focused on crucial life lessons - some of them grim.
The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater is based in New York, but in Miami it's had a hometown aura since Liberty City-raised artistic director Robert Battle took the helm in 2011. The company just finished its annual visit to the Adrienne Arsht Center on Sunday, and - with a spotlight on "Moonlight" and its Liberty City creators - this seems like a good time to look at what the troupe's performances say about Battle's leadership.