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Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre Program Illuminating

by Rita Kohn
March 19, 2013
Clowes Memorial Hall of Butler University
4602 Sunset Avenue
Indianapolis, IN 46208
317-940-6444

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

Alvin Ailey dancers illuminated four different styles of choreography with their signature vim, vigor and verve, always attentive to the musicality inherent in each work, and always pulling us into the breadth and depth of intent. Paul Taylor's playful yet majestic "Arden Court" set to excerpts from several William Boyce Symphonies, in Baroque tradition was an exhibition of grace in motion, revealing what artistic director Robert Battle lauds as Taylor's genius for poetic dance luring us into the contrasts between dark and light emotions. While the company of nine together and individually gave the four movements expressive interpretations of relationships, the male dancers particularly were magnificent in the Adagio, a Taylor innovation showcasing the beauty of their bodies.

Next, Kirven James Boyd gifted a bravura rendition of Battle's Takademe, alternately coy, wry, whimsical and philosophical, propelling himself through animated visualizations of Sheila Chandra's "Speaking in Tongues II," vocalized syncopated syllables as Indian Kathak dance rhythms.

Evolving and going back to the beginning animates the compelling storyline of Rennie Harris'"Home", which requires the dancers not only to appropriate hip hop but equally to evolve rapid, leaping moves from slow motion spatial configurations. In homage to Alvin Ailey, "Home" honors his canon and goes beyond to the moves of the street and the club with a raw energy commanding attention to nuances of bravado and sexual intensity, driven by music by Dennis Ferrer and Raphael Xavier.

Closing with "Revelations", Ailey's signature work that over 53 years has evolved into its present shaping of sorrow, joy and hope set on adaptations and arrangements of ten Traditional songs and an original composition by Ella Jenkins. No matter how often one experiences "Revelations", it never fails to inspire re-examining the drift of one's life and finding deeper motivations to make a difference for the betterment of humanity. For the full story of the dance's evolution log on http://www.alvinailey.org/50-years-revelations.
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in Alvin Ailey's 'Revelations'.

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in Alvin Ailey's "Revelations".

Photo © & courtesy of Andrew Eccles

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