Modern Magic

Alvin Ailey brings American dance back home

Alvin Ailey was 27 when he and a troupe of modern dancers performed for the first time in New York City, a far cry from Ailey's hometown of Rogers, Texas. About 45 years later, the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater has become one of the most reputed companies in American dance.

Ailey's dream grew from a small all African-American company to today's larger multiracial company that, as Ailey hoped, delivers to the people the dance that came from them. The company offers the chance to see, feel and hear that delivery Tuesday and Wednesday nights when the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater returns to Fort Worth's Bass Performance Hall.

AAADT performs classic Ailey works such as Caravan, a piece that has prompted rousing applause and screams from the audience, and Shelter, a powerful and universal note on homelessness and the deprivation of the homeless. Most exciting, though, is the Dallas-area premier of the company's latest additions to their repertoire, including a tribute to Florence Griffith Joyner titled Here...Now and a West Side Story-inspired look at teen rivalry called Dance at the Gym.

The company has performed the works of several choreographers, but the original mind-set and inspiration for Ailey's first dance creations were his memories from his home and the church he grew up attending. The blues, spirituals and gospel of Texas helped Ailey concoct his method of expressing African-American culture in combination with American aesthetic and music. It's his vision that produced the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and the members' reputation of being "international ambassadors of American culture."

Don't miss an opportunity to see people truly soar through the air and push the bounds of the physically possible. The interaction and relationship of the dancers onstage are absolutely dumbfounding. There aren't any tutus or pointe shoes for this performance, just raw dance athleticism and pure emotion.

 
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