Alvin Ailey 2013 International Engagement Marks Return to S. America After 15 Years
SEPT 11 - 29, 2013
ALVIN AILEY AMERICAN DANCE THEATER 2013 INTERNATIONAL ENGAGEMENT
MARKS RETURN TO SOUTH AMERICA AFTER 15 YEARS AND FIRST VISIT LED BY ARTISTIC DIRECTOR ROBERT BATTLE
AMERICA’S CULTURAL AMBASSADOR TO THE WORLD VISITS RIO DE JANEIRO, SÃO PAULO AND BUENOS AIRES BRINGING
INSPIRING PERFORMANCES AND EDUCATIONAL ACTIVITIES FOR AREA STUDENTS
International Premiere of Four Corners by Celebrated Dance Maker Ronald K. Brown
Ailey’s Renowned Dancers will also Perform Works by Garth Fagan, Jií Kylián, Ohad Naharin, and Robert Battle, as well as Alvin Ailey’s Acclaimed American Classic Revelations
(New York) – September 10, 2013 - Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, recognized by U.S. Congress as a vital American “Cultural Ambassador to the World,” returns to South America after 15 years with a robust schedule of 20 performances and a variety of educational activities for area students. The first visit to South America led by Artistic Director Robert Battle includes engagements in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil at Cidade das Artes from September 11-15, São Paulo, Brazil at Credicard Hall from September 19-22, and Buenos Aires, Argentina at Teatro Coliseo from September 26-29. Bloomberg is the lead sponsor of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s international tour to Brazil.
After a record-breaking New York season, 21-city United States tour and an historic engagement at Lincoln Center, the unparalleled artistry and technique of Ailey’s 30 dancers will now reach international audiences with a diverse repertory representing a wide range of important choreographic voices. The Brazil performances feature the international premiere of celebrated choreographer Ronald K. Brown’s Four Corners. Ailey’s dancers have become known as stirring interpreters of Brown’s unique dance storytelling involving his signature blend of modern dance and West African idioms. Set to the music of Carl Hancock Rux and various artists, the work’s 11 dancers bring to life the vision of four angels standing on the four corners of the earth holding the four winds.
All programs end with the inspiring Revelations, an American classic acclaimed as a mustsee for all. Alvin Ailey’s signature piece is a tribute to his heritage and a testament to his genius. Using African-American religious music – spirituals – this suite fervently explores the places of deepest grief and holiest joy in the soul.
“Building upon Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s history of extensive international tours and performances in South America since 1963, I’m proud to lead the Company back after 15 years for a fifth visit to the continent,” stated Robert Battle, who became Artistic Director in 2011. “Mr. Ailey said it so well; ‘Dance came from the people and should always be delivered back to the people.' I’m grateful for Bloomberg’s support of the engagement and excited for audiences to witness uplifting performances, and for students to experience memorable interactions with the world’s most amazing dancers."
Ailey’s dancers will lead nearly a dozen lecture demonstrations, workshops and master classes for students throughout the tour, and young people will be invited to attend select performances. Before the September 11th opening In Rio de Janeiro, Ailey Guest Artist and Rehearsal Director Matthew Rushing and three company members will conduct a workshop with Grupo Cultural AfroReggae at Espaco Benjamin de Oliveira. In coordination with the United States Consulate, prior to the September 19th launch of performances in São Paulo, Hope Boykin and four other Ailey dancers will visit Museu Afro-Brasil for a lecture-demonstration with 80 young people from Ação Comunitária, and a workshop with students from Fabrica de Cultura.
"Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater is world renowned. Artistic Director Robert Battle and the Ailey Dancers will bring enormous pleasure to audiences in Rio and São Paulo. Bloomberg is honored to host the dance company in Brazil,” said Geraldo Coelho, Bloomberg’s Head of Sales for South America.
Bloomberg has supported the Ailey company since 2000, including their triumphant performances at Sadler’s Wells Theatre in London in 2002 and the popular AileyCamp New York, which provides dance instruction and enrichment programs for underserved youth.
“We are so appreciative of Bloomberg’s sponsorship of Ailey’s special return visit to South America, and for their major support of Ailey Arts In Education programs over the years,” shared Bennett Rink, Ailey’s Executive Director. “Bloomberg’s generous support furthers Ailey’s mission of using dance to inspire people of all ages around the world.”
Additional repertory highlights for Brazil and Argentina include From Before, a classic work by Tony award-winning The Lion King choreographer Garth Fagan; Ronald K. Brown’s Grace, a rapturous, spiritually-charged blend of modern and African- influenced dance set to Duke Ellington’s “Come Sunday” and the powerful rhythms of Fela Kuti’s Afro-Pop; and Ohad Naharin’s phenomenally inventive and memorable Minus 16, a work unlike any other in the Ailey repertory in the way it challenges the dancers to improvise and break down barriers between audience and performers. Robert Battle’s humorous and high-flying bravura solo Takademe, a savvy deconstruction and abstraction of the tightly woven rhythms of Indian Kathak dance, and Strange Humors, a thrillingly intense duet with unexpected leaps and falls, will also be performed.
Programming for Buenos Aires also features renowned European choreographer Jií Kylián’s Petite Mort, a ballet of visual surprises showcasing the sensuality, humor and virtuosity of Ailey’s dancers. Performed to two of Mozart’s most popular piano concertos, it blends a classical sensibility with a bold, modern wit in an unforgettable duel of the sexes featuring six couples.
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater uses the African-American cultural experience and the American modern dance tradition in a universal celebration of the human spirit. Ailey’s moving performances are renowned for bringing audiences around the globe to their feet night after night with an incomparable sense of joy, freedom, and spirit. Since 1958, the company has performed for an estimated 23 million people in 48 states, in over 71 countries and across six continents.
Upon completing the tour, the Company will perform Rennie Harris’ bold hip-hop work Home in the closing programs of New York City Center’s 10th anniversary Fall for Dance Festival on October 4th and 5th. Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s annual holiday season at New York City Center is scheduled from December 4, 2013 – January 5, 2014. The season features premieres and new productions, along with a variety of repertory favorites and special programs. Tickets starting at 5 are now on sale and can be purchased at the New York City Center Box Office, through CityTix® at (212) 581-1212 or online at www.alvinailey.org or www.nycitycenter.org.
Detailed 2013 International Tour programming information and schedule is below (subject to change). For further details on Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and the Ailey organization’s performances, training programs, and educational activities, visit www.alvinailey.org
Bloomberg is the lead sponsor of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s international tour to Brazil.
Press –for photos, video & other materials available at pressroom.alvinailey.org
(Programs are subject to change)
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Cidade das Artes
Wed. 9/11 @ 9:00pm FOUR CORNERS, STRANGE HUMORS / MINUS 16 / REVELATIONS
Thurs. 9/12 @ 9:00pm FROM BEFORE, TAKADEME / GRACE / REVELATIONS
Fri. 9/13 @ 9:00pm FOUR CORNERS, STRANGE HUMORS / MINUS 16 / REVELATIONS
Sat. 9/14 @ 5:00pm FROM BEFORE, TAKADEME / GRACE / REVELATIONS
Sat. 9/14 @ 9:00pm FROM BEFORE, TAKADEME / GRACE / REVELATIONS
Sun. 9/15 @ 4:00pm FROM BEFORE, TAKADEME / GRACE / REVELATIONS
Sun. 9/15 @8:00pm FOUR CORNERS, STRANGE HUMORS / MINUS 16 / REVELATIONS
São Paulo, Brazil Credicard Hall
Thurs. 9/19 @ 9:00pm FROM BEFORE, TAKADEME / GRACE / REVELATIONS
Fri. 9/20 @ 9:00pm FOUR CORNERS, STRANGE HUMORS / MINUS 16 / REVELATIONS
Sat. 9/21 @ 5:00pm FROM BEFORE, TAKADEME / GRACE / REVELATIONS
Sat. 9/21 @ 9:00pm FROM BEFORE, TAKADEME / GRACE / REVELATIONS
Sun. 9/22 @ 4:00pm FROM BEFORE, TAKADEME / GRACE / REVELATIONS
Sun. 9/22 @ 8:00pm FOUR CORNERS, STRANGE HUMORS / MINUS 16 / REVELATIONS
Buenos Aires, Argentina Teatro Coliseo
Thurs. 9/26 @ 9:00pm FROM BEFORE, STRANGE HUMORS / MINUS 16 / REVELATIONS
Fri. 9/27 @ 5:00pm PETITE MORT, TAKADEME / GRACE / REVELATIONS
Fri. 9/27 @ 9:00pm FROM BEFORE, STRANGE HUMORS / MINUS 16 / REVELATIONS
Sat. 9/28 @ 5:00pm PETITE MORT, TAKADEME / GRACE / REVELATIONS
Sat. 9/28 @ 9:00pm FROM BEFORE, STRANGE HUMORS / MINUS 16 / REVELATIONS
Sun. 9/29 @ 4:00pm PETITE MORT, TAKADEME / GRACE / REVELATIONS
Sun. 9/29 @ 8:00pm FROM BEFORE, STRANGE HUMORS / MINUS 16 / REVELATIONS
2013 International Tour Program: Ailey Company’s South American Engagement Led By Artistic Director Robert Battle
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater returns to South America after 15 years and led by Artistic Director Robert Battle for the first time. The tour includes engagements in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (September 11-15), São Paulo, Brazil (September 19-22) and Buenos Aires, Argentina (September 26-29). Ailey’s acclaimed dancers will perform a diverse repertory featuring the international premiere of Four Corners, by the celebrated dance maker Ronald K. Brown, along with a mixture of dynamic new productions and repertory favorites, including Alvin Ailey’s American masterpiece Revelations.
Four Corners (2013) choreographed by Ronald K Brown Music: Carl Hancock Rux, Yacoub & Various Artists
Ailey’s extraordinary dancers have become known as inspiring interpreters of the unique dance storytelling of celebrated choreographer Ronald K. Brown. Four Corners, set to the music of Carl Hancock Rux, along with various artists, brings to life the vision of four angels standing on the four corners of the earth holding the four winds. Drawing inspiration from the lyrics of Rux’s “Lamentations,” Four Corners trails eleven dancers as they rise to seek a life of peace on the “mountaintop;” a powerful and hope-filled journey of tribulation, devotion and triumph.
Ronald K. Brown is renowned for his signature blend of modern dance and West African idioms in works that often stimulate deeper examinations of issues of spirituality, community responsibility and liberation. This is Brown’s first collaboration with the critically-acclaimed Carl Hancock Rux, but his fifth work set on Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, including the landmark work Grace.
2012-13 Season Premieres and New Productions
Petite Mort (1991) choreographed by Jií Kylián Music: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Last year marked the company premiere of Petite Mort, a ballet of visual surprises that showcases the sensuality, humor and technical prowess of Ailey’s dancers, marking the first time a work by renowned European choreographer Jií Kylián appeared in the Ailey repertory. Set to two of Mozart’s most popular piano concertos (Piano Concerto in A Major – Adagio, and Piano Concerto in C Major – Andante), it blends a classical sensibility with a bold, modern wit in an unforgettable duel featuring six couples. Born in Czechoslovakia in 1947, Kylián was a long-time Artistic Director of Nederlands Dans Theater has become recognized as one of the most influential choreographers of the past three decades, receiving many international awards and honors.
From Before (1978) choreographed by Garth Fagan Music: Ralph MacDonald
From Before beautifully blends the rhythms of African dance and Caribbean influences, with movements distilled to their purest form by Jamaican-born Garth Fagan, the Tony Award-winning choreographer of The Lion King. The Ailey company premiere was the first staging of this revered work, which features a jazzy percussive score by Grammy winner Ralph MacDonald, for a company other than Garth Fagan Dance. Mr. Fagan attributed its popularity with audiences all across the world to “the fluidity of Caribbean dance, the polyrhythms of African, the precision of ballet and the strength and weight of modern dance.” His many honors include the prestigious 1998 Tony Award for Best Choreography for The Lion King, as well as an Astaire Award, and a Laurence Olivier Award, and he holds an honorary doctorate from the Juilliard School. Fagan recently collaborated with Grammy-winning musician and composer Wynton Marsalis on the world premiere of his newest work, Lighthouse/Lightning Rod at Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) in celebration of BAM’s 150th anniversary and Garth Fagan Dance’s 40th anniversary.
Grace (1999) choreographed by Ronald K. Brown Music: Duke Ellington, Roy Davis Jr., Paul Johnson & Fela Anikulapo Kuti
Ronald K. Brown’s landmark and rapturous Grace, created for Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in 1999, returned to the repertory in 2012. Infused with Brown’s signature blend of modern dance and West African idioms, this moving journey acknowledging the grace that surrounds us all is set to Duke Ellington's classic "Come Sunday," Roy Davis' hit "Gabriel," and the powerful rhythms of Fela Kuti's Afro-Pop. Born in Brooklyn, Brown has created and presented dances since 1985 with his company Evidence and has received the Bessie Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and the American Dance Festival Humphrey/Weidman/Limon Award, among others. Most recently he received accolades for his Astaire award-winning choreography for the Broadway revival of The Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess.
Strange Humors (1998) choreographed by Robert Battle Music: John Mackey
Artistic Director Robert Battle’s Strange Humors is a thrillingly intense duet set to a propulsive score for strings and African drum by composer John Mackey, a fellow Juilliard classmate of Mr. Battle. This riveting company premiere pits two men against each other in surprising sequences that ignite with aggression and discord, mischievousness and humor, as the relationship between the two dancers builds to an exciting crescendo. Robert Battle comments: “Strange Humors is a physically challenging duet containing influences of tango, Martha Graham and hints of hip hop and martial arts, with unexpected leaps and falls, that break the viewer’s false sense of security. The title of this work was inspired by the writings of Maya Angelou – ‘When I think of death, and of late the idea has come with alarming frequency, I seem at peace with the idea that a day will dawn when I will no longer be among those living in this valley of strange humors.’”
Minus 16 (1999) choreographed by Ohad Naharin Music: Various Artists
A delightfully eclectic score ranging from Dean Martin to mambo, techno to traditional Israeli music, propels Ohad Naharin’s phenomenally inventive piece. Using Naharin’s acclaimed “Gaga” method to overcome old habits and make room for new movement and new experiences, this expansive ensemble work is unlike any other in the Ailey repertory in the way it challenges the dancers to improvise and breaks down barriers between audience and performers.
Revelations (1960) choreographed by Alvin Ailey Music: Traditional Spirituals
An American classic acclaimed as a mustsee for all, Alvin Ailey’s signature masterpiece is a tribute to his heritage and a testament to his genius. Using African-American religious music – spirituals – this suite fervently explores the places of deepest grief and holiest joy in the soul.
Takademe (1999) choreographed by Robert Battle Music: Sheila Chandra
The complex, tightly woven rhythms of Indian Kathak dance are deconstructed and abstracted in this percussive, fast-paced work, where clear shapes and propulsive jumps mimic the vocalized rhythmic syllables of Sheila Chandra’s jazzy score.
About ALVIN AILEY AMERICAN DANCE THEATER
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, recognized by U.S. Congressional resolution as a vital American “Cultural Ambassador to the World,” grew from a nowfabled March 1958 performance in New York that forever changed the perception of American dance. Founded by Alvin Ailey, and guided by Judith Jamison beginning in 1989, the Company is now led by Robert Battle, whom Judith Jamison chose to succeed her on July 1, 2011. Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater has performed for an estimated 23 million people in 71 countries on 6 continents, promoting the uniqueness of the AfricanAmerican cultural experience and the preservation and enrichment of the American modern dance tradition. In addition to being the Principal Dance Company of New York City Center, where its performances have become a yearend tradition, the Ailey company performs annually at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC, the Auditorium Theatre in Chicago, the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of MiamiDade County in Miami, The Fox Theatre in Atlanta, Zellerbach Hall in Berkeley, CA and at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark where it is the Principal Resident Affiliate), and appears frequently in other major theaters throughout the United States and the world during extensive yearly tours. The Ailey organization also includes Ailey II (1974), a second performing company of emerging young dancers and innovative choreographers; The Ailey School (1969), one of the most extensive dance training programs in the world; Ailey Arts in Education & Community Programs, which brings dance into the classrooms, communities and lives of people of all ages; and The Ailey Extension (2005), a program offering dance and fitness classes to the general public, which coincided with the opening of Ailey’s permanent home—the largest building dedicated to dance in New York City, the dance capital of the world —named The Joan Weill Center for Dance, at 55th Street at 9th Avenue in New York City. For more information, visit www.alvinailey.org.