On Friday, December 9. 2016, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater debuted Hope Boykin’s r-Evolution, Dream., inspired by the sermons and speeches of Martin Luther King Jr. Nicholas Ashe, Jasmine Guy, Khalil Kain, Bevy Smith, Phylicia Rashad, Billy Porter and Joe Morton were in attendance for the world premiere, which will be performed during the five-week holiday season.
The season continues this week with the new production of Alvin Ailey’s Masekela Language on Tuesday, December 13. This work that premiered at Connecticut College in 1969 is a searing portrait of oppression that draws parallels between the era of apartheid in South Africa and the race-induced violence in Chicago. Trumpeter and composer Hugh Masekela’s driving music propels the dancers through a string of theatrical tableaus, as the commanding choreography speaks of passivity, militancy, despair, and defiance anywhere, at any time.
On Wednesday, December 14, 2016, choreographer Ronald K. Brown will be celebrated with a program comprised entirely of his acclaimed works. Mr. Brown began choreographing for the Ailey organization 20 years ago, and the Ailey dancers have become inspiring interpreters of his work, which have been engrained as an important part of the Ailey repertory. The special program will feature the only season performances of two of his cherished works – an excerpt of Ife/My Heart and the landmark Grace. Two of Ailey’s most beloved stars will be featured, Matthew Rushing and Renee Robinson, who will be returning to the stage for the opening solo of Grace (which she originated).
Live music performances of Alvin Ailey’s Blues Suite – the work that launched the Company during its first performance in 1958 – will be featured during “All Ailey” programs this week, which are comprised of works choreographed by the Company’s legendary founder (Dec. 13, 16, 18 eve). Other highlights this week include an “All New” program featuring three season premieres (Dec. 15 & 17 eve), “Meet, Greet, and Snap” event for young New Yorkers to meet and mingle with Ailey dancers after the 8 p.m. performance (Dec. 16 at 9:45 p.m.), and “Bold Visions” program including a diverse quartet of adventurous works (Dec. 17 mat).
After the New York City Center engagement concludes on New Year’s Eve, Ailey will perform in 19 cities across North America beginning in February.
For more information, visit www.alvinailey.org.
Photo credit: Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s Belen Pereyra in Ronald K. Brown’s Grace. Photo by Pierre Wachholder.