The Society for the Performing Arts (SPA) is proud to announce the return of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater to Houston with three performances at Jones Hall for the Performing Arts from March 16 – 17, 2018. The weekend will showcase exciting premieres, new productions, classic works from Alvin Ailey, and the American masterpiece, Revelations.
Artistic Director Robert Battle leads Ailey’s 32 extraordinary dancers (two of whom are from Houston – Sean Aaron Carmon from Beaumont and Ashley Mayeux from Houston) as they continue the Company’s legacy of using the African-American cultural experience and the American modern dance tradition to uplift, unite, and enlighten. The tour’s expansive repertory – which varies from city to city – includes returning favorites, new productions, and world premieres by some of the freshest choreographic voices in modern dance.
Ailey star Jamar Roberts’ Members Don’t Get Weary is his first world premiere for the Company, which he joined in 2002. Roberts says the work is “a response to the current social landscape in America,” and “takes an abstract look into the notion of one ‘having the blues.’” Set to the powerful music of the legendary jazz saxophonist and composer John Coltrane 50 years after his death, the work aims to allow the audience to momentarily transcend their own personal blues.
The dancers will also perform in Alvin Ailey’s classic works: Night Creature, a dazzling ballet set to music by Duke Ellington; Cry, the female solo made famous by Judith Jamison and dedicated to “all black women everywhere – especially our mothers”; and In/Side set to Nina Simone’s haunting rendition of the Oscar-nominated song “Wild is the Wind,” which offers audiences an intimate look at a man’s most private struggles.
And of course, the weekend would be incomplete without Alvin Ailey’s American masterpiece Revelations, which will reach every city. Since its creation in 1960, Revelations has been seen by more audiences around the world than any other modern work, inspiring generations through its powerful storytelling and soul-stirring spirituals.
Springing from Ailey’s childhood memories of growing up in the south and attending services at Mount Olive Baptist Church in Texas, Revelations pays homage to the rich cultural heritage of the African-American and explores the emotional spectrum of the human condition. Revelations has been performed as part of Opening Ceremonies of the 1968 Olympics, for six sitting presidents at various events, at the inaugurations of Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, and at The White House Dance Series: A Tribute to Judith Jamison, presented by then First Lady Michelle Obama. Acknowledging its lasting significance after five decades, the U.S. Senate passed a resolution recognizing the artistic and cultural contributions of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and the 50th Anniversary of the first performance of Revelations. Hailed by The New York Times as “modern dance’s unquestionable greatest hit,” this American masterpiece was choreographed when Alvin Ailey was only 29 years old, and is as relevant now as ever.
Nearly 60 years after its founding, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater continues to move forward under the leadership of Robert Battle, revealing once again why it remains one of the world’s most beloved dance companies. Come see why The Huffington Post proclaimed, “If you haven’t seen Alvin Ailey, you haven’t seen dance…the most exciting dance company in the world,” and The Chicago Sun-Times called the Company “more electrifying than ever.”
Visit www.spahouston.org for more information.