Ailey II Launches World Tour in 30 Cities, 9/17 - 3/28
Ailey II embarks on a 31-city world tour from September 17th through March 28th with 24 domestic cities including Kansas City, MO; Baton Rouge, LA; Columbia, SC; Memphis, TN; and Birmingham, AL. The international portion of Ailey II's tour takes the dancers to Poland, Germany, Luxembourg, France, and Canada (full schedule on page two).
Ailey II is universally renowned for merging the spirit and energy of the country's best young dance talent with the passion and creative vision of today's most outstanding emerging choreographers. Ailey II is one of the most popular dance companies in the country, combining a rigorous touring schedule with extensive community outreach programs. After a record breaking inaugural year as Artistic Director, Troy Powell announces four richly diverse new commissions in his second year at the helm of Ailey II.
"I couldn't be more thrilled to tour the world with these 12 exceptional dancers this season. I always aim to commission ballets that challenge the dancers and help them grow and develop as young artists. I am excited to offer this year's choreographers the opportunity to have their work seen by audiences near and far" Troy Powell said.
In the world premiere work Alchemies, up and coming choreographer Adam Barruch transforms everyday gestures - a reach, an embrace, a finger pointed skyward - into a reverie of human interactions. While this is a non-narrative work, the dancers' characters come to the foreground as they move through the patterns Barruch has created, accentuated by a layered electronic soundscape by the London duo Raime. Barruch was part of Robert Battle's inaugural New Directions Choreography Lab in 2011 and has choreographed for The Ailey School and River North Dance Chicago, among others.
In Polish choreographer Katarzyna Skarpetwoska's Cuore Sott'Olio ("heart submerged in oil"), a female figure tumbles through the memories of past relationships using a fusion of folk dance and contemporary movement. At times wistful, turbulent, and joyous, this new work, set to music by Alva Noto and Vincio Capossela, captures the essence of a love lost and a rediscovered light within. Skarpetwoska's own choreography has been performed by Parsons Dance, Buglisi Dance Theater, Hubbard Street 2, Houston Metropolitan Dance Company, Patricia Kenny Dance Collection, The Ailey School, George Mason University, Ohio University, Kansas University, and New Jersey Dance Theater Ensemble.
Rising choreographer Jennifer Archibald, a 2012 - 2013 New Directions Choreography Lab Fellow, explores the intriguing possibility of angels moving among us on earth in her new work, Wings - an unabashedly emotional portrayal of interactions between angels and humans. Set to an ambient score by veteran dance composer Michael Wall, Archibald's movement is ferocious yet vulnerable, showcasing both the dancers' athletic prowess and raw honesty. Archibald received her professional training from The Ailey School and has choreographed for off-Broadway shows and The Ailey School, among others. She is also the founder and Artistic Director of the Arch Dance Company.
The Company premiere of We, a charming duet by Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater Artistic Director Robert Battle, depicts a seasoned relationship between a couple. Capturing the spirit of familiarity and vulnerability that is as endearing as reaching for a hand and knowing the other's will always be there, Battle set this work to composer Sean Jones' tender "Love's Lullaby." Mr. Battle has a long-standing association with the Ailey organization. A frequent choreographer and artist-in-residence at Ailey since 1999, he has set many of his works on Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Ailey II, and on students from The Ailey School. Upon his appointment as Artistic Director in 2011, Battle instituted the New Directions Choreography Lab to help develop the next generation of choreographers. Assisting choreographers in developing their craft, the program grants resident fellowships to four emerging and mid-career artists, offering a stipend, the use of gifted dancers from The Ailey School, creative mentorships, and rehearsal time at The Joan Weill Center for Dance. Unlike other programs that require the production and presentation of a final performance or commission, Ailey's lab enables choreographers to focus solely on the process of choreography as a creative experience, free from all restricting expectations or deadlines. Adam Barruch and Jennifer Archibald are among the dozen past New Directions Choreography Lab Fellows.