On the heels of a 32-city world tour, Ailey II returns to The Ailey Citigroup Theater from March 14 – 25 for its annual New York season. The 12 talented young dancers will prove that they are “second to none” (Dance magazine) in dynamic works by some of the most exciting emerging choreographers, including premieres by Juel D. Lane, Renee I. McDonald, and Darrell Grand Moultrie, and returning favorites by Jae Man Joo, Bridget L. Moore, and former Ailey dancer Marcus Willis.
“I am excited for New York audiences to experience the strength and grace of these gifted artists who are on the rise in the dance world,” said Ailey II Artistic Director Troy Powell. “The works by these imaginative choreographers beautifully showcase the virtuosity and prowess of Ailey II.’”
The company’s dynamic dancers come from near (Bronx native Khalia Campbell) and far (French dancer Adrien Picaut), and all shine in both the All New program – featuring the 2017-18 world premieres Road to One by Darrell Grand Moultrie, Touch & Agree by Juel D. Lane, and Breaking Point by Renee I. McDonald – and the Contemporary Favorites program of standouts from the 2016-17 season.
Darrell Grand Moultrie’s Road To One passionately embraces the journey we all take to find meaning in our lives and eventually pass it on to the next generation. Inspired by a mentor who introduced him to the arts at a young age, Moultrie pays it forward with the Ailey II dancers, creating a high-energy ensemble work that uses elegant, modern movement with a contemporary edge. The musical score features an eclectic range of artists, including Ezio Bosso, Kinjey Bunchens, Monica Chuchi, Oliver Davis, and Spark.
Juel D. Lane’s Touch & Agree explores what it means to be in love and how we commit to another person without losing our own identity. Lane brings his personal experiences as a black gay man to the stage, using such wide-ranging musical sources as Sam Cooke, James Blake, H.E.R., and Byrell the Great. His unique style fuses contemporary, African, and hip-hop – bringing a fresh choreographic perspective to the ups and downs of relationships today.
Jamaican-born choreographer Renee I. McDonald’s Breaking Point is an intense depiction of the fight for our heart’s desire. Whether it is love, friendship, forgiveness, or a secret longing, these things can take us to our limit. Suitably paired with the bold and pulsating sounds of Audiomachine, McDonald’s high-powered, modern-based choreography captures the willpower and frenzy it takes to keep up “the fight” until you hit your breaking point.
The Contemporary Favorites program showcases the passion and skill of the dancers in works from the 2016-17 season. Princess Grace Award-winning choreographer Jae Man Joo’s Circular is a heartfelt conversation through movement. The Korean-born Joo’s distinctive choreographic style – a blend of classical and contemporary ballet – is showcased in this large ensemble work that captures the full circle of human emotions. The melodic soundscape is by a diverse group of composers, including Denisov and Handel. Stream of Consciousness, by former Ailey company member Marcus Jarrell Willis, gives physical life to our inner thoughts. Willis weaves six simple gestures into “the stream,” the tumultuous monologue within each person’s mind. Set to a contemporary reimagining of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons by Max Richter, this work echoes the tension and poignancy of the music’s ever-changing tides. In Sketches of Flames, Bridget L. Moore fuses flamenco influences with her African-American and contemporary aesthetic to create a rapturous ensemble dance. Set to a series of passionate folk songs and drawing upon the writings of Federico García Lorca and others, each section of this eight-part work depicts a different facet of the joys and sorrows of love.
New Yorkers have two weeks to discover the “power and maturity” (New York Post) of these rising stars. Tickets starting at $49 are on sale beginning Monday, January 29, and can be purchased online at www.alvinailey.org/aileyiinyc or by phone through OvationTix at (866) 811-4111. Tickets for groups of 10 or more can be purchased through Group Sales at (212) 405-9082, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Both programs are approximately two hours, including two intermissions.
Visit www.alvinailey.org/about/ailey-ii for more information on Ailey II.