It’s been a while since I’ve been to see dance, but the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre’s performance of three very different pieces – Deep, r-Evolution Dream and The Winter in Lisbon – showed me why I should go more often. It’s modern dance, and very athletic, with a classical grounding underpinning it all.
The evening opened with Deep, a world premiere ensemble routine by Italian choreographer Mauro Bigonzetti (newly appointed director of La Scalla Ballet), set to music by Ibeyi, French-Cuban twin sisters who sing in French, English and Yoruba.
This was followed by r-Evolution, Dream choreographed by Ailey dancer Hope Boykin, who was inspired by a visit to the Civil and Human Rights Museum in Atlanta where she heard an excerpt from “The Drum Major Instinct” sermon of Dr. Martin Luther King. She also commissioned an original score by Ali Jackson of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra; throughout the performance you’ll hear historic and original text narrated by Leslie Odom Jr. (from Hamilton).
The last piece was my favorite, as it was set to music by Dizzy Gillespie and Charles Fishman. The Winter in Lisbon was choreographed in 1992 by Billy Wilson, and restaged by Masazumi Chaya. With its vibrant score, costumes and movement, you feel the teasing and romance of the dancers. We all left the theatre feeling uplifted.
To get a taste, check out the video’s on the Company’s website. Then run to City Center – you’ve only got until December 31st to catch these wonderful dancers. Don’t delay!