History On Ailey

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3 Responses to History On Ailey

  1. cheraytonya says:

    Alvin Ailey’s legacy has been kept, and expanded

    For 20 years, Judith Jamison has not just tended the flame, but fueled the dance company in ways that make it burn more brightly.
    February 28, 2010|By Susan Reiter

    Reporting from New York — Judith Jamison can recall vividly the April 1989 lunch in St. Louis when Alvin Ailey designated her his artistic heir. “He said, ‘I’m not doing well; you know I’m sick, and I’d like you to take over the company.’ I said, ‘Sure, of course, Alvin.’

    http://articles.latimes.com/2010/feb/28/entertainment/la-ca-alvin-ailey28-2010feb28

    I choose this article because it is a sentimental moment for both Ailey and Jamison.

  2. cheraytonya says:

    “That was it. The decision to do it was instantaneous.”

    Jamison, 66, was speaking last month in her comfortable office on an upper floor of the company’s sleek, spacious Midtown headquarters. The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater recently had completed its annual five-week New York City season, during which Jamison’s 20th anniversary as artistic director was honored and celebrated in various forms.

    The celebration continues during the company’s 20-city national tour, which brings it to the Orange County Performing Arts Center for seven performances this week. Two of the programs include “Best of 20 Years,” an extensive parade of excerpts from works — some of which found a place in the repertory, many of which did not — that Jamison commissioned or revived during her tenure. The three new dances include Ronald K. Brown’s “Dancing Spirit,” created as a tribute to Jamison and sharing the title of her 1993 autobiography. Also on the bill is Jamison’s latest work, “Among Us,” in which she reveals a new side — enlargements of her own paintings are a crucial part of the set. Also new is “Uptown,” the first work for the troupe by Matthew Rushing, its exemplary senior male dancer. And for a season that recognizes Jamison’s respect for, and expansion of, the Ailey legacy she inherited, she has revived “Hymn,” her 1993 full-company work that incorporates Ailey’s own words and dancers’ deeply personal memories of him.

    When Ailey died Dec. 1, 1989, Jamison — who had been the company’s leading dancer from 1965 to 1980, creating several iconic Ailey roles — became artistic director on Dec. 20. So her exact 20th anniversary fell while the company was in the midst of its recent 40 New York performances — a hugely popular season that has become as much of a holiday dance tradition in the city as “The Nutcracker.” Between the onslaught of premieres, multiple casts for every work, dancer injuries and substitutions, she might not have taken note of the specific date. But in curtain speeches, television interviews and award presentations, she never forgets the company’s roots and the specific sense of purpose with which Ailey imbued his dancers.

    “I am a continuation of what Alvin started. And what I wanted to do was broaden it — make it bigger, and certainly not have anyone forget who this man was, what he has done for the world of dance — what a great swath of intelligence and beauty, and a different way of looking at movement, and sharing the stage. He just made a big pathway for all of us to pursue our individual and collective goals.”

    Jamison led the company through considerable growth, to a remarkable level of stability, thanks to extensive touring. She will be leaving it in strong shape for her successor when she steps down in the middle of next year. The Ailey organization encompasses not just the main company and Ailey II, its junior ensemble (which also tours widely), but a school with a broad range of classes for both aspiring professionals and recreational dance students. The gleaming eight-story building, with its huge windows inviting the public to look in, includes a black-box theater and enough studios that the Ailey Extension was launched, offering classes (such as African dance and yoga) that keep the hallways bustling with activity. It’s a logical embodiment of Ailey’s oft-cited dedication to “bring dance to the people” and foster inclusiveness.

    http://articles.latimes.com/2010/feb/28/entertainment/la-ca-alvin-ailey28-2010feb28

  3. cheraytonya says:

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    July 17, 2013, 8:00 am Comment

    Alvin Ailey Announces New Season

    By ALLAN KOZINN

    Since Alvin Ailey’s death in 1989, the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, now directed by Robert Battle, has held true to the choreographer’s insistence that the company not be a showcase for his works alone, but that it provide a palette for other choreographers as well. The company’s plans for its new season at the New York City Center further that mandate with the world premiere of an untitled work by Aszure Barton and the company premiere of “Chroma” by the British choreographer Wayne McGregor.

    Among the Ailey works to be seen during the season, which runs from Dec. 4 to Jan. 5, are fresh stagings of “The River” and “Pas de Duke,” two of his pieces inspired by the music of Duke Ellington, as well as his signature work, “Revelations.”

    Ms. Barton’s new work, which the company commissioned, is said to have been inspired by the Ailey dancers’ specific styles. It is set to a new score by Curtis Macdonald. (The date of the premiere, and other specifics of the company’s programming, have not yet been announced.)

    Mr. McGregor’s “Chroma,” which was created for the Royal Ballet in 2006, uses 10 dancers to explore shifting spatial relationships on a Minimalist set by John Pawson. Its score is an amalgam of new music by Joby Talbot and orchestrations of songs by Jack White of the White Stripes.

    The new Ailey productions revisit two of the 14 works that Ailey based on Ellington’s music. “The River,” which Ailey choreographed for the American Ballet Theater in 1970, was first performed by his own company in 1980. The work was Ellington’s first score composed specifically for dance. “Pas de Duke,” first performed at Lincoln Center in 1976, and was last staged by the Ailey troupe during the 2006-7 season. Both works have been restaged by Masazumi Chaya, the company’s associate artistic director.

    Also among the season’s highlights are productions of Bill T. Jones’s “D-Man in the Waters,” choreographed to Mendelssohn’s youthful Octet (Op. 20) and Ronald K. Brown’s “Four Corners” (2013), a work inspired by the lyrics of Carl Hancock Rux’s “Lamentations,” which the company performed at Lincoln Center in June. The season also includes a special performance on Dec. 17, honoring Matthew Rushing, the company’s rehearsal director.
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    Alvin Ailey Announces New Season

    By ALLAN KOZINN

    Since Alvin Ailey’s death in 1989, the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, now directed by Robert Battle, has held true to the choreographer’s insistence that the company not be a showcase for his works alone, but that it provide a palette for other choreographers as well. The company’s plans for its new season at the New York City Center further that mandate with the world premiere of an untitled work by Aszure Barton and the company premiere of “Chroma” by the British choreographer Wayne McGregor.

    Among the Ailey works to be seen during the season, which runs from Dec. 4 to Jan. 5, are fresh stagings of “The River” and “Pas de Duke,” two of his pieces inspired by the music of Duke Ellington, as well as his signature work, “Revelations.”

    Ms. Barton’s new work, which the company commissioned, is said to have been inspired by the Ailey dancers’ specific styles. It is set to a new score by Curtis Macdonald. (The date of the premiere, and other specifics of the company’s programming, have not yet been announced.)

    Mr. McGregor’s “Chroma,” which was created for the Royal Ballet in 2006, uses 10 dancers to explore shifting spatial relationships on a Minimalist set by John Pawson. Its score is an amalgam of new music by Joby Talbot and orchestrations of songs by Jack White of the White Stripes.

    The new Ailey productions revisit two of the 14 works that Ailey based on Ellington’s music. “The River,” which Ailey choreographed for the American Ballet Theater in 1970, was first performed by his own company in 1980. The work was Ellington’s first score composed specifically for dance. “Pas de Duke,” first performed at Lincoln Center in 1976, and was last staged by the Ailey troupe during the 2006-7 season. Both works have been restaged by Masazumi Chaya, the company’s associate artistic director.

    Also among the season’s highlights are productions of Bill T. Jones’s “D-Man in the Waters,” choreographed to Mendelssohn’s youthful Octet (Op. 20) and Ronald K. Brown’s “Four Corners” (2013), a work inspired by the lyrics of Carl Hancock Rux’s “Lamentations,” which the company performed at Lincoln Center in June. The season also includes a special performance on Dec. 17, honoring Matthew Rushing, the company’s rehearsal director.

    I choose this article because their is a new style of dance choregraphed by Ms. Barton. This is inspired by Alvin Ailey’s dancers along with his vision. I found this article interesting because I am actually going to see another show. This made me really excited to know at least an idea as to what I am expecting to see. I cant wait to be amazed again.

    http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/07/17/alvin-ailey-announces-new-season/?ref=aileyalvinamericandancetheater&_r=0

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