Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
Robert Battle, Artistic Director
Masazumi Chaya, Associate Artistic Director
"Unbelievable. Go see Ailey! It's change-your-life good."--NBC's Today Show
"Thrilling…superb…dancers going to the absolute limit"--The New Yorker
One of the world's favorite dance companies, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater grew from a now-fabled performance in March 1958 at the 92nd Street Y in New York City. What makes this phenomenal company so special is the talent and skill of its dancers--and the incomparable sense of joy, freedom, and spirit they share with audiences around the world. Discover for yourself what tens of millions of fans already know--you don't just see an Ailey performance, you feel it.
Artistic Director Robert Battle, "who understands the limits of a company's past, even if that past is still popular beyond belief" (Time Out Chicago), is continuing Alvin Ailey's tradition of presenting new works from leading American and international choreographers, in addition to company favorites.
The amazingly athletic Ailey dancers perform to sold-out Kennedy Center audiences year after year. For their annual engagement in February 2015, they bring works by Aszure Barton, Jacqueline Buglisi, Ulysses Dove, Hans van Manen, Robert Moses, David Parsons, Matthew Rushing, Hofesh Shechter, and Christopher Wheeldon--and conclude each of their four programs with Alvin Ailey's signature masterpiece Revelations.
Performance Timing: All Programs run approximately 2 hours, including two 15-minute intermissions.
Tue., Feb. 3 at 7 p.m.
ODETTA (Matthew Rushing)
After the Rain Pas de Deux (Christopher Wheeldon)
Caught (David Parsons)
Revelations (Alvin Ailey)
Wed., Feb. 4 at 7:30 p.m.
Sat., Feb. 7 at 7:30 p.m.
Bad Blood (Ulysses Dove)
Thu., Feb. 5 at 7:30 p.m.
Uprising (Hofesh Shechter)
Suspended Women (Jacqulyn Buglisi)
Fri., Feb. 6 at 7:30 p.m.
Sun., Feb. 8 at 1:30 p.m.
LIFT (Aszure Barton)
The Pleasure of the Lesson (Robert Moses)
After the Rain Pas De Deux
Sat., Feb. 7 at 1:30 p.m.
Followed by a FREE Explore the Arts post-performance discussion
Polish Pieces (Hans van Manen)
ABOUT THE WORKS
NEW 2014 WORKS / DC PREMIERES
ODETTA by Matthew Rushing
The company's own rehearsal director and guest artist Matthew Rushing pays tribute to the singer, songwriter, and Civil Rights activist known as "the queen of American folk music." The New York Times calls ODETTA one of this season's "events that have us especially excited."
The Pleasure of the Lesson by Robert Moses
Often praised for his sophisticated and visually arresting choreography, Moses shows off his flair for crafting sexy, seductive works in this piece for 10 dancers. Says the New York Times: "The pleasures lay in… a beautiful underwater softness here, percussive punch and whiplash speed there."
After The Rain Pas De Deux by Christopher Wheeldon
Notable for its restrained simplicity and intricate partnering, this dreamlike duet--performed to Estonian composer Arvo Pärt's Spiegel im Spiegelm--evokes feelings of tenderness, serenity, melancholy, and devotion. "Rare is the ballet that resonates so profoundly with audiences that it becomes an instant hit," says Dance Magazine.
Suspended Women by Jacqulyn Buglisi
A signature work from the former Martha Graham Dance Company dancer and choreographer, this "mesmerizing" (The New York Times) ballet, set to music by Maurice Ravel, speaks to the challenges and strength of women across the ages. Twelve ghost-like female dancers, dressed in tattered period costumes, express frenzy and despair through off-balance and collapsing movements, while four male dancers weave through their ever-shifting patterns.
Uprising by Hofesh Shechter
Israel-born Shechter's testosterone-fueled work is a visceral exploration of masculine energy, embodied by seven men who emerge from the shadows to bond and spar to a propulsive percussive score by the choreographer himself. Widely considered his breakthrough work, Uprising defined Shechter as a new rebellious voice in dance with an untouchable ability to captivate audiences and set hearts pounding.
Bad Blood by Ulysses Dove
Emotional passion and kinetic energy encapsulate the powerful yet extremely tender war between the sexes, keeping audiences on the edge of their seats with a daredevil display. With music by Laurie Anderson and Peter Gabriel, Bad Blood was the precursor to two other Dove ballets on the same theme, Episodes and Urban Folk Dance.
Polish Pieces by Hans van Manen
In this exuberant ensemble work, Dutch choreographer van Manen displays his mastery for building dazzling creations from simple motifs and geometric patterns. Driven by the rhythms of Henryk Gorecki's score, the dancers come together and disperse in endlessly shifting formations that culminate in two sensual pas de deux.
LIFT by Aszure Barton
Barton's first creation for the company, a kinetic work driven by the dancers' intoxicating energy and heart, features an original, percussive score by Curtis Macdonald. A much sought-after dance maker whose choreography runs the gamut from Baryshnikov to Broadway, Barton has a style that is "vulnerable and feisty, brightly adept yet peculiar, witty and impetuously wild" (Dance Magazine).
Caught by David Parsons
In Parsons's signature solo work of split-second timing and athletic stamina, flashing lights capture a dancer in more than 100 leaps, suspending him perpetually in mid-motion without ever touching the ground. The effect is a stunning suspension of weight in which the dancer appears to fly through the air, devouring space before magically returning to rest center stage.
Revelations by Alvin Ailey
Using African American spirituals, song-sermons, gospel songs, and holy blues, Ailey's Revelations fervently explores the places of deepest grief and holiest joy in the soul. More than just a popular dance work, it has become a cultural treasure, beloved by generations of fans. Seeing Revelations for the first time or the hundredth can be a transcendent experience, with audiences cheering, singing along, and dancing in their seats from the opening notes of the plaintive "I Been 'Buked" to the rousing "Wade in the Water" and the triumphant finale, "Rocka My Soul in the Bosom of Abraham."