dancing the night away
With the holidays fast approaching, nothing brings us pirouetting into the snowflake season quite like the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater (AAADT). At Wednesday’s Opening Night Gala, the limbs were flying around the stage with unfettered aplomb, flitting from grace to gusto whilst set to solos from the company’s A-List pals Anika Noni Rose, Brian Stokes Mitchell and Jessye Norman.
Now in its 54th year, the group’s rich cultural history was made evident throughout the selection of pieces performed throughout the evening, in particular Revelations, which was initially choreographed by Mr. Ailey himself. The piece had a special significance for Ms. Noni Rose, who told The Observer: “The AAADT was the first ballet that I saw, and Revelations was the piece that stuck in my mind so strongly. So it was a huge honor to be asked to perform here tonight – it was like the circle closed for me.”
The opening was also something of a landmark for dancer Renee Robinson, who was hand-picked by the company’s namesake some 32 years ago. Ms. Robinson is hanging up her dancing shoes this Christmas – for the AAADT at least. Speaking of her three decades with the company, she said, “What feels great is not only that I was chosen by Mr. Ailey, but that I had the opportunity to work under him and hear him speak about his vision and his legacy.”
Big daddy of Broadway
Move over Michael Kors – there’s a new indoor-aviator-toting man in town. Last night, legendary Broadway musical director and conductor Paul Gemignani received the Lifetime Achievement in Musical Theater Award at the 21st annual Oscar Hammerstein Gala, where the cream of New York’s stage crop came out to celebrate his remarkable oeuvre. Speaking to The Observer on the red carpet, Tony award winner Paul Gemignani revealed that he was “terrified” about the evening’s entertainment – a veritable selection of Broadway treats hosted, and in part performed, by his son Alex.
Pigs are flying, hell is freezing over, dogs and cats are living harmoniously together, and the Yankees are awaiting reassignment from the Boss …. We only have three words to say: Let’s go, Knicks! Now who here blows up like a Thanksgiving float after eating a rogue peanut? If you are one of Read More
August Wilson’s King Hedley II is a mighty and messy and frightening achievement of the highest order. Its power resides in its ecstatic visions and poetry that pour from the gut of a disenfranchised people, in its mad percussion of pain and despair, in its gentle good humor and chronicles of deaths foretold.
It frightens Read More
Once in a long while, we see a young, virtually unknown performer onstage and we’re made to feel truly alive in their extraordinary presence. They literally radiate. We fall in love with their raw talent, because it is still in the making, still on the more innocent cusp of great things. But it is unmistakably Read More