Since 1958, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater has earned a reputation for passionate performance and innovation. The company’s mission is to “use the beauty and humanity of African-American heritage – and other cultures – to unite all people.” When the group performs at the Auditorium Theatre this week, it will be a homecoming for Chicago native Solomon Dumas. He’s one of 32 dancers in the national touring company. Dumas was just 13 years old when he first saw the acclaimed group at the Auditorium Theatre. A year earlier, he trained at AileyCamp Chicago, a summer day camp program for at-risk kids in 10 cities across the United States.
One of the world’s most popular dance companies, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater are out with their annual showcase, “Ailey Revealed.” Watch three members of the company give a live studio performance of a portion of Ailey’s signature piece, “Revelations.”
When the choreographer Troy Powell was a student at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater's school, more than forty years ago, he was struck, he remembered recently, by "these men that looked like me, these men that danced!" The other night, when he again found himself moved by a young man who looked like him, he was less surprised: Powell had handpicked the boy for the resemblance. The occasion for the body double was Powell's newest work, "Testimony," choreographed for the Ailey School's fiftieth-anniversary gala, at Lincoln Center.
Get an up-close view as Jacquelin Harris, Jermaine Terry, Jeroboam Bozeman and Solomon Dumas from the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater perform an excerpt from Artistic Director Robert Battle's "Juba."
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.