Sunday, June 16, 2013

Alvin Ailey

 Last night I had the pleasure of seeing Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater perform at the David Koch Theater at Lincoln Center. The dancing was wonderful, and I am so pleased that I was finally able to see this company.

Only one of the dances on our program were choreographed by Ailey or the other artistic directors of the company -- that was the short solo, "Takademe", a jittery fun, quirky, fast piece choreographed by Robert Battle.

The first dance, "From Before", was choreographed by Garth Fagan. It included different segments of dancing with Afro-centric moves and pieces of music. The dancers wore brightly colored full body leotards, and the effect was exhilarating.

The dance "Grace" mixed up-tempo and slower music. I was much more interested in the fast segments. Choreographed by Ronald K. Brown, the dance featured dancers in white costumes, taking up the stage in a variety of complex, beautiful, and fun ways.

My favorite dance was the final one, "Minus 16", choreographed by Ohad Naharin, the Artistic Director and choreographer of the captivating company, Batsheva, which I saw perform in San Francisco last year. This dance started before the intermission was even over. With one dancer is a suit standing in front of the curtain. Gradually he started moving, in a quirky, jittery way. Eventually he was full on dancing. After his applause, the curtain was raised to a room full of dancers in dark suits. The music was mildly threatening, and the dancers all worked with chairs in robotic, haunting ways. I can't describe the powerful effect of this piece. Eventually the dancers had stripped to their underpants, and danced without the chairs.

Then, after the set went dark, they were all in full suits again. They came out into the audience in rhythmic fashion and one by one led people up to the stage. Each dancer brought one audience member, and they began dancing with them. It was so exciting to see "regular" people dancing up there. They deliberately chose people wearing red or bright colors, to festive and classic effect. The audience was thrilled and this number got a full standing ovation.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I saw this performance and I agree it was amazing--brilliantly choreographed in order to 'adlib' on the spot!