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Alvin Ailey II

by Marian Horosko
September 30, 2009
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
405 West 55th Street
New York, NY 10019
(212) 405-9000

Featured Dance Company:

Alvin Ailey Dance Theater
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
405 West 55th Street
New York, NY 10019
(212) 405-9000
www.alvinailey.org

Many major and regional dance companies have second, apprentice or " II" companies that groom and observe their young dancers for future possible acceptance into the main company. Ailey II began in 1974 as the Ailey Repertory Ensemble, a workshop for scholarship students selected by Ailey, now under the direction of Sylvia Waters. The group tours extensively and has gained a reputation, not only for excellent performances, but for introducing unique opportunities for emerging choreographers. The repertory now includes works by Talley Beatty, Ulysses Dove, and George Faison.

On a run-thru II performance at the Ailey School's Auditorium on September 30, the 12-member company performed 3 works: "Echoes," "Essence," and "Proximity…But no Relation."

"Echoes," choreographed by Thang Dao, takes the full company, despite some awkward moments, on a remembrance of his family's journey from Vietnam to America through his mother's haunting memories in their journey.

"Essence" by former member of the AA company, Christopher L. Huggins, brought the remarkable Demetia Hopkins, performing alone with a chair, to the level of a tour de force work. Hopkins, comes from Orange, VA where she began she study of dance at the Virginia School of the Arts and continued in other schools. No doubt her travels, introducing her to the works of choreographers such as Nacho Duato, William Forsythe and others shaped her ability to see the inner voice of works. There is no doubt about her future in AA if she cares to pursue it instead of in her joining any other company.

The program continued with "Proximity—But No Relation" choreographed by Carlos dos Santos, an up and coming talent. He is extremely musical and knows how to handle groups with clarity and fascination.

Ailey II is headed by Sylvia Waters, a 30-year veteran of the company, with associate artistic director, Troy Powell. Ailey II does extensive national touring, will appear at the Kaufmann Concert Hall at 92nd Street Y on November 5 and the Joyce Theater in April.

For more information, contact www.AlvinAiley.org.
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