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The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater Returns to UNC-Chapel Hill’s Memorial Hall Feb. 24th and 25th

Carolina Performing Arts will present the world-renowned Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 24th, and 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 25th, in Memorial Hall at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (photo by Andrew-Eccles)

Carolina Performing Arts will present the world-renowned Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 24th, and 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 25th, in Memorial Hall at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (photo by Andrew-Eccles)

Carolina Performing Arts will present the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater at 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 24th and 25th in Memorial Hall on the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill campus. It is the New York City-based dance troupe’s fifth stop on its 18-city 2015 tour.

According Carolina Performing Arts:

“One of the world’s most cherished dance companies returns to Memorial Hall each season. Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater grew from a fabled performance in 1958 at the 92nd Street Y in New York City. Led by Alvin Ailey []1931-89 and a group of young African-American modern dancers, that performance changed forever the perception of American dance.

“As a vital American cultural ambassador, the Ailey company has gone on to perform for an estimated 23 million people around the globe as well as millions more through television broadcasts, celebrating the uniqueness of the African-American cultural experience and the preservation and enrichment of the American modern dance heritage.

“These are some of the best dancers on the planet!”

The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater will perform Matthew Rushing's ODETTA on Feb. 24th (photo by Mike Strong)

The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater will perform Matthew Rushing’s ODETTA on Feb. 24th (photo by Mike Strong)

The Tuesday, Feb. 24th, program will include:

ODETTA (a 2014 world premiere, with choreography by Matthew Rushing and music by Odetta Holmes): SYNOPSIS (from the tour news release): “Odetta Holmes — one of the most influential singers of the 20th century — is rediscovered as renowned Ailey dancer Matthew Rushing marries soul — stirring movement to songs by the artist anointed ‘the queen of American folk music’ by Martin Luther King, Jr. Rushing’s world premiere for Ailey, created with the support of commissioning funds from New York City Center, will pay tribute to Holmes’s life as a singer, songwriter, actress, activist and ‘the voice of the Civil Rights Movement’ in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act. With a musical repertoire encompassing American folk music, blues, jazz, and spirituals, Odetta influenced many key figures of the 1960s folk-revival scene including Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Mavis Staples, and Janis Joplin. Her song ‘Take This Hammer’ was included on Time magazine’s list of the All-Time 100 Songs. ODETTA will be Matthew Rushing’s third ballet created for Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, following Acceptance in Surrender (2005), a collaboration with Hope Boykin and Abdur Rahim-Jackson, and Uptown (2010), a celebration of the Harlem Renaissance. Matthew Rushing comments: ‘Last year [Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater artistic director] Robert Battle approached me about choreographing a ballet to the music of Odetta Holmes, and I jumped at the chance! I created ODETTA to give homage to a musician, a vocal artist, a humanitarian, and a civil rights activist. After spending much time researching her work, listening to countless albums, and watching a great deal of interview footage, I decided on a selection of songs that became the building blocks of the ballet. I’m so excited to share Odetta’s legacy through the art of dance. I want to introduce her to Ailey audiences around the world, so that she may continue to impact and change lives through Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.'” For a video preview of this piece, click http://pressroom.alvinailey.org/.

Suspended Women (a 2000 ensemble piece with choreography by Jacqulyn Buglisi, music by Maurice Ravel, and music interpolations by Daniel Bernard Roumain): SYNOPSIS (from the tour news release): “A mesmerizing ensemble work illuminating the challenges and strength of women across the ages, Jacqulyn Buglisi’s Suspended Women is set to music by Maurice Ravel, with interpolations composed by Daniel Bernard Roumain. Created in 2000 and now recognized as one of Buglisi’s signature works, it is the first piece by this celebrated former Martha Graham dancer, choreographer and master teacher to be performed by Ailey. Called a ‘…complicated delight…’ by New York magazine, Dance Magazine described Buglisi’s choreography as a series of ‘images that seduce the eye as much as the imagination, with shapes, luminous textures, and stilled moments in time that offer an adventure in perception.’ Robert Battle comments: ‘This piece shows archetypes of women throughout history — the challenges they’ve endured and continue to endure. It’s very virtuosic, but it also has a wonderful sense of drama, evoking strength, vulnerability and sisterhood. All of that makes it perfect for the women of Ailey.'” For a video preview of this piece, click http://pressroom.alvinailey.org/.

Revelations (a 1960 American masterpiece with choreography by Alvin Ailey and music adapted from African-American spirituals): SYNOPSIS (from the tour news release): “More than just a popular dance work, Revelations has become a cultural treasure, beloved by generations of fans. An American classic acclaimed as a must-see for all, Alvin Ailey’s signature masterpiece is a tribute to his heritage and genius. Using African-American spirituals, the work fervently explores the places of deepest grief and holiest joy in the soul. Seeing Revelations for the first time or the hundredth can be a transcendent experience, with audiences cheering, singing along and dancing in their seats from the opening notes of the plaintive ‘I Been ‘Buked’ to the rousing ‘Wade in the Water’ and the triumphant finale, ‘Rocka My Soul in the Bosom of Abraham.'” For a video preview of this piece, click http://pressroom.alvinailey.org/.

AAADT's Glenn Allen Sims and Linda Celeste Sims perform in Alvin Ailey's masterpiece "Revelations," which the AAADT will perform on both nights (photo by Andrew Eccles)

AAADT’s Glenn Allen Sims and Linda Celeste Sims perform in Alvin Ailey’s masterpiece “Revelations,” which the AAADT will perform on both nights (photo by Andrew Eccles)

The Wednesday, Feb. 25th, program will include:

LIFT (a piece with choreography by Aszure Barton and music by Curtis Macdonald): SYNOPSIS (from the tour news release): “A [2013] world premiere by in-demand choreographer Aszure Barton, LIFT is an exhilarating new work that celebrates and challenges the cast of 19. Created with Barton’s collaborative stylistic approach that is constantly evolving like no other. Ailey’s renowned dancers inspired the process, movement and composition, as well as the original percussive score by Curtis Macdonald.” For a video preview of this piece, click http://pressroom.alvinailey.org/.

Bad Blood (a 1986 work with choreography by Ulysses Dove and music by Laurie Anderson and Peter Gabriel): SYNOPSIS (from the tour news release): “In Bad Blood, emotional passion and kinetic, athletic energy encapsulate the powerful yet extremely tender war between the sexes, asking the question ‘[C]an we be a duo and an individual at the same time?’ With music by Laurie Anderson and Peter Gabriel, Bad Blood was the precursor to two other phenomenal Dove ballets on the same theme, Episodes and Urban Folk Dance, and the fourth of what would eventually be seven Dove ballets performed by the Ailey dancers. Ulysses Dove has been hailed as one of the most exciting choreographers to emerge in the latter half of the 20th century, renowned for a style that merged the influences of his choreographic mentors, Alvin Ailey and Merce Cunningham. Robert Battle comments: ‘Dove was a risk taker, and he was very urgent about what he had to say. He uses minimal language to make profound statements about relationships, both brutal and tender. I feel his life force in the work; every time I watch it I’m on the edge of my seat.'” For a video preview of this piece, click http://pressroom.alvinailey.org/.

Revelations (a 1960 American masterpiece with choreography by Alvin Ailey and music adapted from African-American spirituals): SYNOPSIS (from the tour news release): “More than just a popular dance work, Revelations has become a cultural treasure, beloved by generations of fans. An American classic acclaimed as a must-see for all, Alvin Ailey’s signature masterpiece is a tribute to his heritage and genius. Using African-American spirituals, the work fervently explores the places of deepest grief and holiest joy in the soul. Seeing Revelations for the first time or the hundredth can be a transcendent experience, with audiences cheering, singing along and dancing in their seats from the opening notes of the plaintive ‘I Been ‘Buked’ to the rousing ‘Wade in the Water’ and the triumphant finale, ‘Rocka My Soul in the Bosom of Abraham.'” For a video preview of this piece, click http://pressroom.alvinailey.org/.

Carolina Performing Arts presents the ALVIN AILEY AMERICAN DANCE THEATER at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 24 and 25 in Memorial Hall, 114 E. Cameron Ave., Chapel Hill, NC 27514, on the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill campus.

TICKETS: $69 and up ($10 and up for students).

BOX OFFICE: 919-843-3333 or https://www.carolinaperformingarts.org/events-on-sale/.

SHOW: https://www.carolinaperformingarts.org/ros_perf_series/alvin-ailey-american-dance-theater-3/ and https://www.facebook.com/events/1612990042267666/.

CPA PROGRAM: https://www.carolinaperformingarts.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Alvin-Ailey.compressed.pdf.

VIDEO PREVIEWS: https://www.youtube.com/user/AileyOrganization.

AAADT’S 2015 U.S. TOUR: http://www.alvinailey.org/tour.

AAADT’S TOUR NEWS RELEASE: http://pressroom.alvinailey.org/internal_redirect/cms.ipressroom.com.s3.amazonaws.com/87/files/20151/Ailey%27s2015USTourSchedule%26LincolnCenterAnnouncement020315.pdf.

PRESENTER: http://www.carolinaperformingarts.org/, https://www.facebook.com/pages/Carolina-Performing-Arts/9560250967, https://twitter.com/uncperformarts, and https://www.youtube.com/user/UNCPerformArts.

VENUE: https://www.carolinaperformingarts.org/ros_venue/memorial-hall/.

DIRECTIONS/PARKING: https://www.carolinaperformingarts.org/visit/getting-here/.

OTHER LINKS:

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater (New York, NY dance troupe): http://www.alvinailey.org/ (official website), https://www.facebook.com/AlvinAileyAmericanDanceTheater (Facebook page), https://www.youtube.com/user/AileyOrganization (YouTube channel), and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alvin_Ailey_American_Dance_Theater (Wikipedia).

EDITOR’S NOTE:

Robert W. McDowell has written articles for The News & Observer, The Raleigh Times, Spectator Magazine, CVNC, and Triangle Arts and Entertainment, all based in Raleigh. He edits and publishes two FREE weekly e-mail newsletters. Triangle Review provides comprehensive, in-depth coverage of local performing-arts events. (Start your FREE subscription by e-mailing robertm748@aol.com and typing SUBSCRIBE TR in the Subject: line.) McDowell also maintains a FREE list of movie sneak previews. (To subscribe, e-mail robertm748@aol.com and type SUBSCRIBE FFL FREE in the Subject: line.)

 


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