Powerful, graceful and ethnic; visual, sensual and rhythmic are words that only begin to describe the amazing work of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. You will have multiple opportunities to experience this work in Charlotte, through six days of performances from Tuesday, May 15 through Sunday, May 20 — all evening and matinee performances.
Each show will consist of four different dances in the beautiful Knight Theater at the Levine Center for the Arts. Tickets for these Ailey company performances in the John S. and James L. Knight Theater start at $39.50. (There are special offers for kid’s night, Thursday May 17, and $20 student tickets are available before each performance. Read the links carefully for details.)
Since the beginning, the Ailey company has performed for an estimated 23 million people in 48 states and in 71 countries on six continents, including two historic residencies in South Africa. In 2008, the U.S. Congress designated the company as “a vital American cultural ambassador to the world,” promoting the uniqueness of the African-American cultural experience and the preservation and enrichment of the American modern dance heritage.
In 1958, Mr. Ailey founded Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater to carry out his vision of a company dedicated to enriching the American modern dance heritage and preserving the uniqueness of the African-American cultural experience. For this company, education has been as important as the dance, itself. For many years, an integral part of this dance company has been The Ailey School and the Alvin Ailey Repertory Ensemble (now called “Ailey II”).
In the early years, when Ailey began creating dances, he used the blues, spirituals and gospel as inspiration, which resulted in the creation of arguably his most popular and critically acclaimed work, “Revelations” — which will be performed in several Charlotte shows. Although Ailey created 79 ballets over his lifetime, he asserted that his company was not exclusively a repository for his own work.
Today, though Mr. Ailey is no longer alive, the Ailey company continues his mission by presenting important works of the past as well as commissioning new ones. More than 200 works by more than 80 choreographers have been part of the Ailey company’s repertory.
Ailey’s training was in classical dance, with both ballet and modern roots. As America is a melting pot, it has been interesting how Ailey and other choreographers have synthesized traditional dance with their own African-American history.
Treat yourself to an opportunity to experience the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater this week because dance — like other art forms — impacts you in ways that cannot be easily described with words.