There’s a lot of life being brought into this dance performance. Alvin Ailey, who became director of the Lester Horton Dance Theater in 1953, began to choreograph his own work then founded Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in 1958 to carry out his vision to better the American modern dance heritage and to maintain the African-American cultural experience. Once Ailey established the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, he formed Ailey II.
Today, Ailey II still expresses the American modern dance heritage and the African-American cultural experiences in its dance. Director Troy Powell was a scholarship student at The Ailey School where he experienced Ailey’s vision and retains it to this day. It is beautiful to watch and well put together. The first segment features Chalvar Monteiro, who was leading the dance and the rest were following. Like watching a beautiful swan opening its wings, the dancers’ were moving their arms out and body in a mellow, peaceful, and freely way.. The background is blue and the dancers were wearing velvet blue clothing. There is one scene, where the dancers got together as couples expressing romance, hatred, caring, and separation. For these scenes they were wearing casual clothing. It is as if they were expressing what happens in other parts of the world that we don’t see. Some parts of the performance looked scary and intense. There were parts where the stage turns dark and foggy and there is one light focusing on the slowly moving Samantha Barriento. Every scene showcases the dancers’ amazing facial expressions! They have their chest out and head up high. These dancers keep their composure and never look tired. Legs were kicking up, twisting and turning; moves that people wish they could do. It was very impressive and it probably looks better from a row back. Sitting near the stage can get you riled up because you may be distracted by seeing the dancers’ backstage passing by the curtains, the light hitting you, and you probably won’t be able to see some of the dances that’s happening on the floor. Overall the performance was stunning. Take a day off to watch Ailey II at The Joyce Theater at 175 8th Ave.
Ailey II performs at The Joyce Theater March 17th through 22nd, 2015.