Solomon Dumas

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Dance Teacher - What My Teacher Taught Me: Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s Solomon Dumas On Lisa Johnson-Willingham

Dance Teacher - What My Teacher Taught Me: Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s Solomon Dumas On Lisa Johnson-Willingham

When I was in high school, my friends at The Chicago Academy for the Arts told me about Lisa Johnson-Willingham, an impressive former Ailey dancer who was teaching Horton at Joel Hall Dancers & Center on Thursday nights. I decided I ought to give her class a try. The first time I went, I didn’t even pay for class. In fact, I don’t think I ever paid for her class. She was tough as nails, but she was always generous. The room was packed with people from all over the city. From modern dancers to professional ballet dancers to young students—everyone wanted to learn from her. Her classroom got so hot from sweaty bodies that the windows completely fogged up and contrasted the cold night outside.

WTTW - Homecoming Dance: Tour Brings Alvin Ailey Dancer Back To Chicago

WTTW - Homecoming Dance: Tour Brings Alvin Ailey Dancer Back To Chicago

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.

The Boston Globe - Alvin Ailey Dancers Continue Outreach At Local Schools

The Boston Globe - Alvin Ailey Dancers Continue Outreach At Local Schools

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.

The New York Times - The Passionate Humility of Solomon Dumas

The New York Times - The Passionate Humility of Solomon Dumas

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.

The New York Times - Two Masters, Still in Heady Conversation

The New York Times - Two Masters, Still in Heady Conversation

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

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.

N'DIGO - Chicagoan Solomon Dumas

N'DIGO - Chicagoan Solomon Dumas

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.

Showing 110 of 16 Items