Monday, 14 September 2015

Alvin Ailey's standing ovation

The globally acclaimed Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater received a standing ovation at their gala performance on Thursday 3 September 2015 at Mostecasino, Johannesburg. It's no surprise, as the New York-based dancers are the definition of strength, grace, power and precision.

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
Photo by Andrew Eccles
Every one of the pieces performed was audibly breathtaking. Striking costumes and meticulously choreographed performances effectively boasted every rippling muscle in the dancers' bodies as they weightlessly leapt through the air or balanced on the edge of every dancers' dream.

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
in Hans van Manen's Polish Pieces.
Photo by Paul Kolnik
The mesmerising Polish Pieces showcases Dutch choreographer Hans van Manen's genius in combining colour and patterns with rhythm. A kaleidoscope of dynamic dance culminates in two sensual, emotionally charged pas de deux.

The dynamic Yannick Lebrun performed Artistic Director Robert Battle's energetic solo Takademe with great athleticism and an equally high spirit. Seldom has a range of emotions been so sincerely expressed by any performer, leaving the audience in awe and inspired.

Yannick Lebrun in Robert Battle's Takedeme.
Photo by Andrew Eccles
Grace, choreographed by Ronald K. Brown, transports one to the spiritual roots of African-American culture. The dancers' enthusiasm and passion is visibly clear in this piece that's injected with energy.

The highly acclaimed American classic Revelations is Alvin Ailey’s signature masterpiece. It is a tribute to Ailey’s heritage, exploring moments of deepest grief and joy.

Matthew Rushing, Demetia Hopkins-Greene,
Linda Celeste Sims and Guillermo Asca
in Robert K. Brown's Grace.
Photo by Paul Kolnik
The ballet piece ‘Fix Me, Jesus’ is transfixing. Linda Celeste Sims is the epitome of grace and strength, arousing gasps from the audience as she pivots in arabesque, perfectly balanced. One should not underestimate the strength of her dance partner Glenn Allen Sims, as many non-dancers so often do. It takes a great amount of agility, strength and focus to partner a ballerina with such grace and effortlessness.

AAADT's Linda Celeste Sims and Glenn Allen Sims
in Alvin Ailey's Revelations.
Photo by Andrew Eccles
The show closes with the toe-tapping, uplifting ‘Rocka My Soul in the Bosom of Abraham’, leaving no doubt in any audience members’ mind that Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater is a unique, inspirational modern dance Company that celebrates the human spirit though African-American culture and the power of American modern dance tradition. Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater deserves its reputation as one of the world’s most popular modern dance companies.

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater will be performing in South Africa as follows:

Cape Town
Wednesday 16 September to Sunday 20 September 2015

There are two alternating programmes of about two hours each. Both programmes end with Revelations.

Tickets are on sale at Computicket.

For more information on Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, click here.

Follow Showtime Management on Facebook for more amazing events in South Africa.

Review by Andrea Vermaak, BK Publishing.

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