Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater dancer and choreographer Jamar Roberts talks about his love for choreography, working with Ailey dancers, and the inspiration for his new piece, Members Don't Get Weary, premiering at the company's 20th annual Mother's Day Engagement at NJPAC.
Members Don't Get Weary
In 2016, during the U.S. presidential elections, world-class dancer Jamar Roberts was on a European tour. He said that everywhere he went, people seemed to be musing over the controversial political scenario. “It seemed like the whole world was watching for the outcome,” he said, “and sharing the same feelings of anxiety and uncertainty as to its and impact on everyone.” Roberts, a Miami native, processes that tumultuous moment through physical language. It was in that context that his choreography debut for the Alvin Ailey American Theater emerged. “Members Don’t Get Weary” is an artistic portrait and meditation on the current American social landscape, it speaks to a mix of worries about the economy, social injustice and violence.
Seeing Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater for the first time is a rite of passage for anyone who loves dance (and for plenty of people who didn't know they did). Jamar Roberts first saw the company perform in Fort Lauderdale when he was a kid growing up in South Dade. Like so many of us, the first Ailey dance that swept him away was "Revelations," and for him, it was specifically the "Sinner Man" section. He's told he cried, though he doesn't remember that.
Members Don't Get Weary, @alvinailey's newest work choreographed by @jmar82, is described as "a response to the current social landscape in America... an abstract look into the notion of one 'having the blues.'"
MIAMI - Jamar Robers has been around the world as a leading dancer with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. But in a week after Hurricane Irma swept through Miami, he was back where he started, at Dance Empire, a studio in a suburban strip of warehouses here.