The Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County will feature until Sunday, February 23rd, 2014 the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. The highly anticipated Miami performances are part of a 23-city North American tour that marks the 25th season since the passing of legendary founder Alvin Ailey.
Following an acclaimed record-breaking five-week season launch in New York City and building on last year’s success, Ailey’s sixth annual Miami engagement will showcase Miami native Jamar Roberts and 30 other extraordinary dancers in a dynamic collection of repertory favorites, premieres and new productions by major choreographers. This exceptional engagement is co-presented by the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County as part of the Knight Masterworks Season – Sanford and Beatrice Ziff Signature Dance Series.
The Friday, February 21st evening program as well as the Sunday matinee program will include the enthralling LIFT, a world premiere by in-demand choreographer Aszure Barton, as well as the premiere of modern dance innovator Bill T. Jones’ joyfultour-de-force D-Man in the Waters (Part I). LIFT is an exhilarating new work that celebrates and challenges the cast of 19 and was 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. D-Man in the Waters (Part I) is a true modern dance classic and a New York Dance and Performance (“Bessie”) Award-winning work by modern dance innovator Bill T. Jones, a Tony Award-winner for Fela! and Spring Awakening. Originally created in 1989, it is a celebration of life and the resiliency of the human spirit that embodies loss, hope and triumph with non-stop movement set to Mendelssohn’s Octet for Strings in E-flat Major, Op. 20 (1825).
The Family Matinee on Saturday, February 22nd will be a special Ailey/Ellington program featuring productions of The Riverand Pas de Duke, along with Night Creature, three of the 14 ballets founder Alvin Ailey created during his career that celebrate the musical genius of the eminent American composer Duke Ellington. The Family Matinee will be followed by afree Q&A with the Ailey dancers for the enjoyment of the entire family.
In addition to new choreographic treasures, Alvin Ailey’s rousing masterpiece Revelations, — an American classic acclaimed as a must-see and recognized by U.S. Senate resolution — will provide the inspiring finale at all performances.
Leading up to the engagement, the Arsht Center and Ailey have also collaborated to offer various arts education offerings for the whole community. On Wednesday, February 19 at 7:00 PM, a free community master class for professional dancers will take place at the Arsht Center’s Peacock Foundation Studio. There will also be in-school workshops on Thursday, February 20 at various Miami-Dade County public high schools and middle schools. On Friday, February 21st at 11am a special one-hour performance featuring Revelations will be offered free of charge to public school students in the Miami-Dade County area,including the Liberty City neighborhood where Robert Battle grew up. Moderated by one of the dancers, this hour-long educational performance gives students a taste of all the elements that compose an Ailey experience. In addition, the performances will be attended by alumni from AileyCamp Miami, a nationally-acclaimed summer program produced by the Arsht Center that uses dance as a vehicle for helping middle school students ages 11-14 to reach their full potential.
Sunday, January 12 at 2:30p.m. The Ailey School will hold auditions at the New World School of Arts as part of their national audition tour throughout the U.S. and Canada. The mission of The Ailey School is to make dance accessible to serious dance students through a curriculum of rigorous and diversified dance training. Nearly 70% of current Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater members received their pre-professional training from The Ailey School, including Miami’s own Jamar Roberts.
For further details on Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and the Ailey organization’s performances, training programs and educational activities, visit www.alvinailey.org.
Credit: Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s Jamar Roberts and Alicia Graf Mack in Alvin Ailey’s The River. Photo by Paul Kolnik