Ailey project UK
The Ailey Project UK was launched in 2021, following a consultation with Dance Consortium member venues and building on previous Learning & Participation activity with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.
The young people who we have worked with so far have had a range of engagements, from an introduction to Horton technique workshop delivered in person with ex-Ailey dancer, Marcus Jarell Willis, to learning repertoire directly from the dancers Solomon Dumas and Samantha Figgins in New York via a satellite link up. They have had a chance to take part in creative tasks and sharings, alongside live and pre-recorded Q&As with current and ex-company dancers, whilst being given unique access to the virtual Ailey Gala, all within a professional dance environment.
In 2022, Dance Consortium held our first in person Summer Intensive, in partnership with Milton Keynes Theatre. The director of the Ailey School, Tracy Inman and Principal Dancer, Yannick Lebrun led a week-long intensive with pre-professional dancers aged 14-20 from across the UK. In addition to this, Dance Consortium supported Black-led dance organisations to connect with the company and we are continuing to build a growing network of partners.
Dance Consortium members are committed to partnering with Black-led dance organisations to address long standing inequalities in the dance sector. The Ailey Project UK aims to redress the balance of opportunity, raising an awareness for different career pathways through dance companies, particularly for those who have been historically underrepresented in formal contemporary dance training.
Through the Ailey Project UK and our other Learning & Participation initiatives, Dance Consortium continues to be a significant contributor to dance talent development in the UK.