Famed Ailey company to dance in Vail Valley | VailDaily.com

Famed Ailey company to dance in Vail Valley

Kris Sabel
Director's Chair
Vail, CO Colorado
Special to the Vail Daily | Wade Reed"Revelations," one of the most famous works in the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater repertoire, will be performed Tuesday and Wednesday at the Vilar Center in Beaver Creek.

VAIL VALLEY, Colorado –Next week, the Vilar Performing Arts Center in Colorado’s Vail Valley is honored to present one of the biggest events in the history of the theater when the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater makes its debut in our community. Over the years, soloists from the company have performed to great acclaim at the Vail International Dance Festival, but this is the first time the entire company will appear in the Vail Valley. This is truly a highlight of our season, and to see this company in our intimate venue is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

One of the most beloved and well know modern dance companies, the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater has performed for an estimated 23 million people worldwide. The company has earned a reputation as one of the most acclaimed international ambassadors of American culture, promoting the uniqueness of the African-American cultural experience and the preservation and enrichment of the American modern dance.

The company performs two different programs on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings, so this is a great opportunity to see six different works from the company’s vast repertoire. Both programs will end with “Revelations,” one of the most recognizable and heralded works in the Ailey repertoire. Many young dancers today were motivated and inspired to dance by the iconic images of Artistic Director Judith Jameson performing in “Revelations.” The suite fervently explores the places of deepest grief and holiest joy in the soul. If you’ve never seen “Revelations” performed live, it is worth the price of admission just to see this masterful work. It is truly a treasure of our cultural heritage.

Tuesday’s program also includes:

• Love Stories, choreographed by Judith Jameson in a dynamic collaboration with hip-hop pioneer Rennie Harris and modern dance maverick Robert Battle. The piece blends elements of modern dance with African and hip-hop movements, set to the music of Stevie Wonder. The dancers break into “jam sessions” and at times the piece feels as if you are watching street dancing in New York.

• Episodes is Ulysses Dove’s choreographic masterpiece. Dove is a former Ailey dancer and one of the most innovative contemporary choreographers of the past half century. The piece features what Dove is known best for – speed, force and the excitement of the senses. Five extremely athletic Ailey men meet four breathtaking Ailey women. With scooping, combative gestures, leaps and turns, Dove takes this piece beyond the typical battle of the sexes.

Wednesday’s program also includes:

• Night Creatures, choreographed by Alvin Ailey. With music by Duke Ellington, many say this piece is Ailey’s homage to the exuberance of Ellington’s jazz.

• IN/SIDE, a solo work set to Nina Simone singing “Wild is the Wind.”

• Suite Otis, choreographed by George Faison, the first African American choreographer to win a Tony Award (The Wiz 1975). With Broadway flair, the full company leaps and turns their way though a playful battle of sexes set to Otis Redding’s sizzling hot music.

We are proud to be one of 12 cities on this year’s American tour which celebrates Judith Jameson’s 20 years as artistic director of the company.

And tomorrow night, get a head-start on Irish fun with “Celtica Sinfonia,” a St. Patrick’s Day celebration of music and dance. Last years sold out performance was recently aired on Rocky Mountain PBS. Tomorrow’s performance will be filmed in HD with high hopes of a national airing on PBS. This year’s brand new program builds on the success of last year with more dancers, more musicians and lots of new music.

Featuring champion Irish step dancers from “Lord of the Dance,” sensational ballet dancers from California’s State Street Ballet and thrilling musicians from Celtic band FEAST (on violin, viola, cello, piano, harp, trumpet, trombone, horn, tuba, bass, percussion and bagpipes), this is a great way for the entire family to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.

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