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.” Read More