Half a century later, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater is one of the finest contemporary companies in the US. Training in ballet and jazz as well as African American styles, these are powerful, and powerfully expressive, dancers.
In fact if there’s been quiet criticism of recent tours, it’s been that the dancers outclass the repertory. But new director Robert Battle is busily adding new works, so the Alvin Ailey London tour includes more than a few UK premieres.
Offering four varied programmes, each will close with Ailey’s own Revelations, a rich exploration of joy and sorrow in the soul via gospel and holy blues, and the most widely seen work of contemporary dance in the world.
In Programme A, we’ll be looking out for Christopher Wheeldon’s After the Rain. A light-as-air duet originally created for New York City Ballet, we can’t wait to see how it looks on the versatile Alvin Ailey dancers.
Just to emphasise that versatility, Programme A also brings Rennie Harris’ spiritual hip hop work Exodus.
Paul Taylor’s Piazzolla Caldera reworks the sensual tango spirit for modern dance in Programme B.
Aszure Barton, who recently choreographed for English National Ballet’s She Said programme, has designed LIFT with the full company, which will show alongside Battle’s exuberant Awakening and Ailey’s 1971 classic solo Cry, created as a birthday present for his mother, in Programme C.
Programme D is a schools matinee featuring an excerpt from Night Creature.
This is a rare opportunity to see a company that changed the history of American dance, and no Londoner should miss out.
You can also catch the Alvin Ailey dancers in the Royal Ballet's triple bill devoted to Wayne McGregor, here.
|What||Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Sadler’s Wells|
|Where||Sadler's Wells, Rosebery Avenue, London, EC1R 4TN | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Angel (underground)|
06 Sep 16 – 17 Sep 16, Times vary, check programme for details
|Website||Click here to book via the Sadler's Wells website|