It was set up in 1958 by the visionary dancer and choreographer Alvin Ailey (1931–1989) to divulge and celebrate the rich and varied African-American culture, and it's continued to do so by adding to Ailey's own extensive repertoire new, specially commissioned works from contemporary choreographers.
For its coming residency at Sadler's Wells, AAADT brings four separate programmes, each as enticing as the next one. All but one end with the company's signature work, the glorious Revelations for which Alvin Ailey drew inspiration from the blues, spirituals and gospel, and which encapsulates so much of the African-American spirit.
The programmes are as follows:
• Contemporary Voices – Tuesday 5 & Saturday 16 September at 7:30pm, Sunday 10 September at 2pm. Dur.: 2 hours 15 mins inc two intervals. Booking here.
- Dusk by the Canadian choreographer Aszure Barton, which is billed as 'watching the physical unfurling of the human psyche'
- Are You In Your Feelings? by the American Kyle Abraham, a versatile choreographer whose work London audiences were able to see performed by the Royal Ballet at Covent Garden. This piece is set to a score that combines soul, hip-hop and R&B
• Modern Masters – Wednesday 6, Thursday 7, Tuesday 12 and Wednesday 13 September at 7:30pm; Thursday 7 and Saturday 16 September at 2:30pm. Dur.: 2 hours 20 mins inc two intervals. Booking here.
- Roy's Joys by the veteran American choreographer Twyla Tharp is a piece inspired by the 1940s and 50s jazz soundtrack of Roy Eldridge
- Dancing Spirit by Ronald K Brown, pays homage to Ailey's successor as company director, Judith Jamison, who steered AAADT for 21 successful years and his now artistic director of Emerita. As its title indicates the work seeks to embody the spirit of Jamison's elegance, vision and dignity.
• Ailey Classics – Thursday 7 and Friday 15 September at 7:30pm, Saturday 9 and Wednesday 13 September at 2:30pm. Dur.: 2 hours 20 mins inc two intervals. Booking here.
- The River is a sweeping work for the full company that evokes a powerful stream's varied journey towards the sea, and is an allegory of life itself from birth through death and rebirth. It's set to Duke Ellington’s first symphonic score written for dance.
- Pas de Duke is a thrilling and amusing take on the classical pas de deux, originally created for Judith Jamison and the great Mikhail Baryshnikov.
- Cry is a poignant solo inspired by Ailey's mother and created on Jamison. Ailey dedicated this piece to 'all Black women everywhere – especially our mothers'.
If you pick just one programme I would suggest Ailey Classics.
• 21st Century Creations - Friday 8 and Thursday 14 September at 7:30pm. Dur.: 2 hours inc two intervals. Booking here.
- Dusk (see Contemporary Voices above)
- In a Sentimental Mood by former company resident choreographer Jamar Roberts has its world premiere here. It's billed as an exploration of love and desire in a couple's domestic life. The work is set to Rafik Bhatia's avant-garde take on jazz classics.
- Are You In Your Feelings? (see Contemporary Voices above)
|What||Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Sadler's Wells|
|Where||Sadler's Wells, Rosebery Avenue, London, EC1R 4TN | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Angel (underground)|
05 Sep 23 – 16 Sep 23, 19:30 Mats available (consult website) Dur.: varies according to programme
|Website||Click here to book|