By Walter Rutledge
The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater begins their annual five-week holiday season tonight, November 28, at the New York City Center. The 54th season of the company will offer a diverse roster of works. In addition to a world premiere, and three company premieres, the company will also present Ailey classics and audience favorites.
The world premiere of Another Night by Kyle Abraham is performed to Dizzy Gillespie’s jazz classic A Night In Tunisia. The work fuses movement from hip-hop to ballet, which showcases the artistry and versatility of the Ailey dancers. This is Abraham’s first work for the Ailey Company his ensemble work The Corner has become a mainstay in the Ailey II repertory.<p><a
Artistic Director Robert Battle’s Strange Humors is an intense duet set to John Mackey’s propulsive score for strings and African drum. Battles company premiere is set on two male dancers and is equal parts comedic and combative. Stationed far apart along a narrow shaft of light, the duo mirrors the building tension between Mackey’s string quartet and djembe they ultimately meet for an explosive confrontation of wits and prowess.
Company premiere Petite Mort by Jiří Kylián is set to two of Mozart’s most popular piano concertos (Nos. 21 and 23). The theatrical work features six men and six women intermingling with fencing foils and elaborate ball gowns in an unforgettable battle of the sexes. The foils are, in many ways, the men’s real dancing partners and sometimes turn out to be more stubborn and willful than a human partner.
Ensemble work, From Before by Tony Award-winning choreographer (The Lion King) Garth Fagan blends the rhythms of African dance with Caribbean influences. The music further echoes the West Indian tradition with a rhythmic, uplifting score composed by Trinidadian Grammy winner Ralph McDonald. Mr. Fagan said of his work: “From Before was looking back at my origins in the West Indies and seeing how I could take away all the trimmings and the costumes of African or Caribbean dance and strip it right down to the bare bones.”<p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/54311549″>Ronald K. Brown’s GRACE</a> from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/user3212993″>Alvin Ailey</a> on <a href=”http://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a>.</p>
Ohad Naharin’s Minus 16, Ronald K. Brown’s Grace, Paul Taylor’s Arden Court, Rennie Harris’s Home and Ailey classics Cry, Love Songs and For ‘Bird’ With Love and his signature masterwork Revelations will also be presented. For a complete listing of works and more information about the Alvin Ailey New York City Center season please visit www.alvinailey.org. Tickets can be purchased at the New York City Center Box Office, through CityTix® at (212) 581-1212 or online at www.alvinailey.org or www.nycitycenter.org. For group sales, call 212-405-9082 or e-mail email@example.com.