Well, it was about time I discovered Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and why it is so popular. I did so thanks to the stunning, heart warming performance the dancers gave in front of the most expressly adoring audience one could ever hope for.
”Untitled America” in world premiere opened the evening. Choreographed by Kyle Abraham, it examines the impact of the prison system on African-American families. Performed by a large ensemble of dancers to an ambient music interrupted by spoken word, narrated by former prisoners. The audience was blown away and I thought it was the best possible introduction to Ailey’s eclectic, humanistic style, a style that combines classical ballet with modern and traditional dance moves creating fluid, light yet strong, convincing silhouettes.
It was followed by ”Awakening”, a ritualistic piece choreographed by the company’s Artistic Director, Kyle Abraham.
”A Case of You” came next, an intimate, sensual and intense duet, danced to Diana Krall’s version of Joni Mitchell’s song.
The evening closed with ”Revelations” Ailey’s upbeat signature work which ”using African-American spirituals, song-sermons, gospel songs and holy blues, it fervently explores the places of deepest grief and holiest joy in the soul”.
It closed to a standing ovation and made me want to dance again.
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater are performing until December 31st at the New York City Center and their repertory varies depending on the date and time booked. For more info click on the link above.
At this point, it would be an omission not to mention that our evening was enhanced by an excellent dinner at the renowned Greek restaurant ”Milos”, just two doors away. Although the exorbitant menu prices are prohibitive to those of us with small to medium-sized pockets, an occasion like Christmas eve is always a good excuse for a splurge.
Different productions, from the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater website.
Milos New York, from the restaurant’s website.
Last two images of the performance, from The Humble Fabulist’s archives.
December 24th, 2016