Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater UK Tour repertoire announced!


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Photo: Paul Kolnik

Last seen in the UK in 2010, the irresistible dancers of Ailey are back! The tour runs from 6 September – 19 October, touring all around England, Scotland and Wales!

The all-star line-up includes FIVE UK premières and TWO Ailey UK premières as well as the beloved crowd-pleaser Revelations, the most widely-seen modern dance work in the world. Read on to find out more about the pieces in the 2016 line-up…


Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater's Jeroboam Bozeman and Chalvar Monteiro in Rennie Harris' Exodus. Photo by Paul Kolnik

Choreography: Rennie Harris
Music: Raphael Xavier
Acclaimed hip hop choreographer Rennie Harris explores the idea of “exodus” – from one’s ignorance and conformity – as a necessary step toward enlightenment. Set to gospel and house music along with poetic narration, the work underscores the crucial role of action and movement in effecting change. Exemplifying his view of hip hop as a “celebration of life,” Exodus marks Harris’ latest invitation to return to spiritual basics and affirm who we are.


Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater's Belen Pereyra in Ronald K. Brown's Four Corners. Photo by Paul Kolnik

Choreography: Ronald K. Brown
Music: Carl Hancock Rux, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Yacoub
Dancers depict spiritual seekers among four angels standing at the corners of the earth, holding the four winds. In creating his fifth commission for the Ailey company since 1999, the celebrated choreographer Ronald K. Brown turned to the song “Lamentations” by his friend, recording artist Carl Hancock Rux. Drawing from West African and modern dance influences, Brown uses grounded, earthy movements to portray figures who are burdened by grief but ultimately find peace, solace, and freedom.


Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater's Akua Noni Parker and Jamar Roberts in Christopher Wheeldon's After the Rain Pas de Deux. Photo by Paul Kolnik

Choreography: Christopher Wheeldon
Music: Arvo Pärt
Christopher Wheeldon’s dreamlike duet – praised for its sublime simplicity and intricate partnering – is revealed in a fresh light as the Ailey dancers make it their own.


Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in Alvin Ailey's Revelations.  Photo by Paul Kolnik

Choreography: Alvin Ailey
Music: Traditional Spirituals
Using African-American spirituals, song-sermons, gospel songs and holy blues, Alvin Ailey’s Revelations fervently explores the places of deepest grief and holiest joy in the soul. More than just a popular dance work, it has become a cultural treasure, beloved by generations of fans.  Seeing Revelations for the first time or the hundredth can be a transcendent experience, with audiences around the world cheering, singing along and dancing in their seats from the opening notes of the plaintive “I Been ’Buked” to the rousing “Wade in the Water” and the triumphant finale, “Rocka My Soul in the Bosom of Abraham.”


Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater's Matthew Rushing and Linda Celeste Sims in Ronald K Brown's Open Door. Photo by Paul Kolnik

Choreography: Ronald K. Brown
Music recorded by Arturo O’Farrill & the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra
Renowned for his fusion of African and modern dance, Ronald K. Brown adds new flavor to his signature style, setting this work to recordings by Arturo O’Farrill & the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra.  Brown’s travels to Cuba inspired much of the movement, from the salsa partnering to the references to Elegba – the Santería god who opens pathways. The title hints at the power of dance and music as vehicles for culture and compassion.


Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in Paul Taylor's Piazzolla Caldera. Photo by Paul Kolnik

Choreography: Paul Taylor
Music recorded by Astor Piazzolla
Astor Piazzolla’s fiery tango music sets the stage for a series of sizzling encounters – some predatory, some playful.  Paul Taylor’s work is a sensual exposé of tango as reinterpreted and reimagined with modern dance that honors the tradition of tango’s Argentinian working class roots and preserves the essence of the form.


Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in Aszure Barton's LIFT. Photo by Paul Kolnik

Choreography: Aszure Barton
Music: Curtis Macdonald
Robert Battle commissioned in-demand choreographer Aszure Barton to create a world premiere on Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater for their 2013-2014 season. Set to an original, percussive score by musical collaborator Curtis Macdonald, the body of music, like the work itself, is inspired and driven by the energy of the dancers. With a collaborative stylistic approach that is constantly evolving like no other, Barton’s exhilarating conversation and relationship with Ailey’s renowned dancers informs the process, movement, composition and atmosphere of the creation by a wonderful group of artists.


Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in Robert Battle's Awakening. Photo by Paul Kolnik

Choreography: Robert Battle
Music: John Mackey
Awakening is a work featuring Robert Battle’s signature taut, ritualistic choreographic style and a score by American composer John Mackey. Buoyed by the complex rhythmic quality of Mackey’s music (“Turning” and “The Attention of Souls,” the third movement from the symphony Wine-Dark Sea), a dozen Ailey dancers lead the audience on a cathartic journey in this powerful dance of dissonance and harmony, chaos and resolution.


Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater's Jacqueline Green in Alvin Ailey's Cry. Photo by Paul Kolnik

Choreography: Alvin Ailey
Music: Alice Coltrane, Laura Nyro and Chuck Griffin
In 1971, Alvin Ailey choreographed the ballet, Cry, as a birthday present for his mother; it went on to become an enduring work of American art. This 16-minute solo, which was first danced by the legendary Judith Jamison, is dedicated to “all black women everywhere – especially our mothers.”


Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in Alvin Ailey's Night Creature. Photo by Paul Kolnik

Choreography: Alvin Ailey
Music: Duke Ellington
Night Creature, Alvin Ailey’s classically influenced choreography juxtaposes with Duke Ellington’s jazz idiom. One of Mr. Ailey’s most popular works, the dance captivates with Ailey’s sensual nighttime rituals, propelling the movement into a fastpaced climatic catharsis using slow jazz walks, boogie woogie and ballet arabesques to create prowling patterns and communal configurations.