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Battle Talks About New Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater Productions

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
Glen Allen Sims and Celeste Sims

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater Artistic Director Robert Battle stopped by Jazz 91.9 WCLK to talk with Jamal Ahmad about the famed troup's upcoming Atlanta performances at the Fox Theatre, February 10 - 14.

Click the audio file  icon below to hear the interview:  

Atlanta – January 14, 2016 – Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater returns to the Fabulous Fox Theatre February 10 -14, 2016 for six inspired performances featuring new productions of Ailey classics and premieres by some of America’s most celebrated dance-makers.  Alvin Ailey’s perennial crowd pleaser Revelations will provide the inspiring finale of all programs.

Led by Robert Battle in his fifth season as Artistic Director, Ailey’s extraordinary dancers will bring to life a repertory of nine works that will engage Atlanta audiences in a celebration of the human spirit.  No Longer Silent and Awakening, two of Mr. Battle’s most powerful pieces, are among the exciting works taking center stage at the Fox Theatre for the first time.

In Awakening, Robert Battle’s first world premiere as artistic director, a dozen dancers lead audiences on a cathartic journey of hope that expertly balances chaos and resolution, dissonance and harmony.  Robert Battle’s acclaimed No Longer Silent is a large ensemble work stirring the imagination with powerful phrases evoking a complex and mysterious ritual to Erwin Schulhoff’s percussive score “Ogelala.”  Recently staged on the Ailey company 70 years after the liberation of the concentration camps, it was originally created in 2007 as part of a concert of choreography that brought to life long-forgotten scores by composers whose work and lives were silenced by the Nazis.  

“It is an honor to share with Atlanta my Awakening, new works by visionary choreographers like Ronald K. Brown and Rennie Harris, as well as enduring classics by Paul Taylor and Alvin Ailey,” stated Artistic Director Robert Battle.  “At this year’s Fox Theatre engagement, 31 acclaimed dancers will reveal important voices that enrich our society and stir our souls, building upon Ailey’s proud legacy of inspiring, enlightening and uniting audiences.”

Highly-anticipated world premieres by world-renowned choreographers Ronald K. Brown and Rennie Harris have also been bringing audiences to their feet in a magnificent intersection of culture and dance traditions.  The timely Cuban-inspired Open Door  guides viewers on a pathway informed by Ronald K. Brown’s travels to Cuba over the years and driven by vibrant music from Arturo O’Farrill and the Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra’s latest album Cuba: The Conversation Continues.  Acclaimed hip-hop choreographer Rennie Harris’ recent world premiere of Exodus, set to gospel and house music along with the spoken word, underscores the crucial role of action and movement in effecting change.

Select programs will also feature the Company premiere of Piazzola Caldera, modern dance master Paul Taylor’s sizzling ballet capturing the essence of tango culture, as well as new productions of three classics by Alvin Ailey. Blues Suite, created for the Company’s first performance in 1958 at the 92nd Street Y, conjures Alvin Ailey’s “blood memories” of the barrelhouses and fields of rural, Depression-era southern Texas to the blues music he called “hymns to the secular regions of the soul.” Cry is the physically and emotionally demanding solo created on Judith Jamison in 1971 as a birthday present for Alvin Ailey’s mother and dedicated to “all black women everywhere – especially our mothers.”  Love Songs, choreographed in 1972 to music by Donny Hathaway and Nina Simone, is a three-part technical and dramatic tour-de-force displaying both the power and gentleness of the male soloist.

The five day engagement of captivating live performances will kick off with Ailey Fan Night on Wednesday, February 10 at 8 p.m. offering Atlantans the opportunity to experience the Ailey magic with all tickets at only $25!  Ailey also extends an invitation to bring a loved one to the Valentine’s Day performance on Sunday, February 14 at 3 p.m. or the whole family to the Family Matinee program on Saturday, February 14 at 2 p.m. , which includes a post-performance Q&A with the dancers and special ticket prices that are buy one, get one at 50% off. 

Tickets, starting at $25, are available at The Fox Theatre box office, 660 Peachtree Street NE, www.alvinailey.org, www.foxatltix.com or by calling 855-285-8499.