Three dancers from the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater company came to Boston this week to teach at local schools ahead of their North American Tour, which arrives in Boston in May. The schools were the Boston Arts Academy, the Richard J. Murphy School, in Dorchester, the Kennedy Day School, in Brighton, and the Boston Renaissance School, in Hyde Park. Through the support of the Celebrity Series of Boston, Chalvar Monteiro, Samantha Figgins, and Solomon Dumas traveled to the schools to teach students of various ages and skill sets. The education included Ailey-style dance, as well as history of the late Alvin Ailey, who made it his mission to bring dance to everyone and make it accessible to the underprivileged.
A dancer isn’t always born a dancer. Sometimes a mother has to step in. Growing up on the South Side of Chicago with his single working mother, Solomon Dumas was involved in community theater and interested in the arts. But dance wasn’t much of a presence in his life until his mother signed him up for AileyCamp, when he was 12.
There aren't many people left on earth who can speak to the spirit of Alvin Ailey - not in terms of his dances or the institution he created, but the man. Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater celebrates its 60th anniversary this season and along with that, the work of another choreographer who mercifully is on earth right now: Ronald K. Brown. Through his dances, he speaks to the spirit of Ailey, and for nearly 20 years now he has enriched Ailey's company with unaffected, soulful choreography that gives its dancers dimension and depth.
Newsweek - Alvin Ailey 60th Year Celebration: Judith Jamison, Robert Battle And More Honor The Legacy Of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
When Alvin Ailey set out to start his own dance company in New York City in 1958, he likely had no idea his passion and call to dance would result in a nearly 85,000-square-foot performance center bearing his name and thousands of students entering its doors day after day, while company dancers traveled to perform his choreography on stages around the globe. He certainly couldn't have known his effort to create a safe and esteemed place for dancers from all walks of life would extend well past his 1989 death, some 30 years.
How did a young man, like you, from the South Side of Chicago become interested in dance? My mother was the one who insisted that I go to AileyCamp. I did a lot of community theater in the South Side of Chicago (I was interested in being an actor), and my mom thought it would be a good idea for me to know how to dance. She had seen Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater perform, and heard they were hosting a summer program for inner city children.
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.
Solomon Dumas is nervous about dancing in Chicago. As a new member of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, based in New York City, the twenty-eight-year-old Dumas did not get stage fright on a recent European tour, where he performed in Denmark and Switzerland, nor in the other cities where he performed on a nationwide domestic tour that has brought him, finally, back to his roots.
Solomon Dumas talks being bitten by the dance bug and his journey in joining the "graceful athletes" of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.
Many top dancers with elite dance companies start training when they’re very young — but that’s not always the case. Solomon Dumas — a rising star at the Alvin Ailey Company —started late, getting a push from his mom.
Conan O'Brien's Harlem odyssey continued Tuesday night with a visit to the famed Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, where the lanky late-night host attempted to learn modern dance over the course of one lesson. Under the tutelage of co-director Tracy Inman, O'Brien morphs from a clumsy, uncoordinated and rigid amateur into…essentially the same thing.