Have you ever heard of the Alvin Ailey Dance Theater?
|Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in Rennie Harris Home. Photo by Paul Kolnik|
This dance group is a historic troupe hailing straight from the hip streets of New York City. Y'all know I may be a Betty, but my blood runs deep with Northern Jersey blood, so I was immediately intrigued, especially since I do love a good musical performance. Here's a brief history:
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater grew from a now-fabled performance in March 1958 at the 92nd Street Y in New York City. Led by Alvin Ailey and a group of young African-American modern dancers, that performance changed forever the perception of American dance. The Ailey company has gone on to perform for an estimated 23 million people at theaters in 48 states and 71 countries on six continents -- as well as millions more through television broadcasts.When I heard this historic group was coming here to town to perform at our own historic Fox Theater, I was really excited to be able to check them out!
|Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater's Kirven James Boyd. Photo by Andrew Eccles|
Let's learn a little more ... and thanks to Hope for answering my questions!
What did you learn as a student at the Ailey school that you have put into practice since as a member of the Company?
Well, from the point of view of a dancer, I have learned the great importance of embracing as much technique as I can. As a student in the school, I was exposed to so many different styles and techniques of dance; which allowed for a greater understanding and appreciation for what I would have to embrace as a member of the hardest working repertory company I know. But, if I were to share the most important lesson, I would have to say, having a relationship with the students in the school, and to set a good and true example is the most important lesson. I was treated with truth, love, and respect, and I try to give this back to the students. I was encouraged and motivated and some of the company members would often say, “…keep ‘Hope’ alive…” which made all the difference to me while I studied at the Ailey School.What was your favorite performance as both a dancer and an audience member, Ailey or beyond? What made those performances stand out in your memory?
As an audience member, I recall, seeing a performance while I was a student in the school that I will never forget. Matthew Rushing was already a good friend of mine, and had gotten me a seat for that evening’s performance. Memoria, one of my favorite works of Mr. Ailey’s, was on the program, and I remember, the performance had already begun, as noticed Matthew running out to join me, warm-up clothes on and big hood over his head so he wouldn’t be recognized. I couldn’t imagine what he was doing in the audience. It turned out that one of the dancers performing in Memoria had a sudden injury, and Masazumi Chaya, Associate Artistic Director, would be stepping in at the last minute. I never thought I would have the chance to see him perform, and I was great. I’ll never forget it.What would you say to a audience member that might be a newcomer to the dance world (cough like me cough)?
As a company member, I remember my first performance. There were so many dancers in the wings showing their support; the love was immeasurable.
What can they expect at the performance, and what might help them follow along or enjoy the show even more?
This is an easy question. The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater is the best company to come to see if you have never seen dance before. My colleagues are the most proficient, artist/athletes that you will ever see on a stage. I am even amazed when I have the opportunity to watch from the audience, or even on the side of the stage in the wings, at the magic that is made.
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater's
Photo by Andrew Eccles.
The biggest expectation the audience should have is to be changed in someway. There is nothing that I would want to explain, except to say to be prepared to see the company with fresh eyes, if you are a veteran Ailey-Goer, and for the soon to be veteran Ailey-Goer, expect to be moved.Have you visited Atlanta before?
Yes, Atlanta is one of our home stops on tour. There are only few cities that are mandatory stops for me and Atlanta is at the top of my list.Do you have downtime while you are on tour to sample the local cuisine and attractions? If so, what will be on your to-do list for Atlanta?
I have several friends in the Atlanta area so I have most of my free minutes already scheduled with catching up, seeing how their kids have grown, and of course a short visit to Lenox Mall (LOL).
Hooray, thanks Hope! Hearing her answers made me that much more excited to go and see the show.
Ok, now that you are up close and personal with the group that is the Alvin Ailey Dance Theater, let's move on to the premiere event -- a set of tickets to the Company's opening night show at the Fox Theater!!
Details: A pair of tickets to the opening night of the Alvin Ailey Dance Theater
Where: The Fabulous Fox Theater
When: Thursday, February 16 at 7:30 PM
How to Enter: You get one entry per response!
1. Leave a comment telling me who you would bring to the show if you won!
2. Follow me on Pinterest and leave a comment telling me you did so
3. Follow me on Twitter and leave a comment telling me you did so
The giveaway will end Friday, February 10 at 10AM.
Good luck everyone! I can't wait to see one of you fabulous readers at the show!
Disclosure: I was given a pair of complimentary tickets to the Alvin Ailey Dance Theater in exchange for this post. All opinions are my own.