Ailey project UK
Ailey Project UK was launched in 2021. Following a consultation with DC member venues and building on previous L&P activity with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre.
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 REP directly from the dancers Solomon Dumas and Samantha Figgins in New York over Zoom. They have had a chance to take part in creative tasks and sharing, as well as, live and pre recorded Q&As with current and ex company dancer’s, whilst being given unique access to the virtual Ailey Gala. All within a professional dance environment.
In 2022 we held our first in person summer intensive in partnership with Milton Keynes Theatre. The director of the Ailey School, Tracy Inman and Principle Ailey 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 have been able to assist in connecting Black led dance organisations together, creating a growing network of partners.
Historically, the young people in regular contact with the consortium have been majority White-British middle class. Dance Consortium members are committed to partnering with Black led dance organisations to address long standing inequalities in the dance sector. The Ailey project has the potential to redress the balance of opportunity, raising awareness for different career pathways through dance companies for those who have been historically underrepresented in formal contemporary dance training.
Through the Ailey Project and our other L&P initiatives Dance Consortium continues to be a significant contributor to dance talent development in the UK.