Ailey Announces Victoria Rep

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater has just announced their program for Victoria to coincide with Dance Victoria’s on sale date (December 2). As usual they’ll be dancing two different programs each evening (April 8 and 9). 

The Ailey company was in transition when they visited Victoria in 2012. Longtime Artistic Director Judith Jamison was retiring and her successor, Robert Battle was learning the ropes. Now, two year’s later, Victoria audiences will be able to experience the company of 33 athletic dancers under the Battle influence. What might they expect? New York Times dance reviewer Alistair Macaulay has noted a movement away from what might be referred to as a showy, presentational style to a more introspective dance style.

Battle has already set a direction for the future by commissioning up-and-coming dance artists as well as acquiring repertoire from esteemed dance makers from around the world. The programs for Victoria feature a mix of work that is a statement of what the company is becoming.

On Tuesday, April 8 the company will perform:

  1. Home, a work by hip hop artist Rennie Harris.  Premiered in 2011 at New York’s City Center, Home was inspired by the stories of people living with HIV. The music, a pulsing gospel score, is provided Dennis Ferrer and Rapahel Xavier.
  2. D-Man in the Waters (Part 1) is choreographed by celebrated New York based dance artist Bill T Jones. D-Man s set to Felix Mendelssohn’s Octet for Strings. The music propels a non-stop momentum, sending the dancers hurling across the stage in a whirlwind of leaps, rolls, and slide. The NY Times called it “a stylish, impassioned outpouring of movement.”
  3. Revelations choreographed by Alvin Ailey® and considered to be a modern dance masterpiece. Based on Ailey’s “blood memories” of growing up poor and black in the southern U.S., Revelations incorporates spirituals, gospel songs and blues to explore the deepest grief and holiest joy in the soul. “An American phenomenon…magical and spiritual and hopeful…” Oprah Winfrey.

On Wednesday, April 9 the program includes:

  1. Another Night choreographed by the young in-demand contemporary dance artist, Kyle Abraham.  Inspired by drummer Art Bailey’s interpretation of the jazz classic A Night in Tunisia, this is work an inventive, provocative dance that fully embodies the modern jazz style.
  2. Strange Humors by Artistic Director Robert Battle is a duet for two men that is equal parts comedic and combative set to the music of John Mackey. The two men meet for an explosive confrontation as though “possessed by the force of feelings beyond their control.” – New York Times
  3. The River is classic Ailey full-company work that was first performed by American Ballet Theatre in 1970. Set to Duke Ellington’s music, The River is a sweeping dance that suggests tumbling rapids and meandering streams on a journey to the sea.
  4. Revelations (see above)

Both programs deliver a range of works that underline the versatility and artistry of the company. They pay honour to the past and look to the future.

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