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BWW Review: ALVIN AILEY AMERICAN DANCE THEATER at Lincoln Center is Stunning and Affecting

Alvin Ailey American Dance Center is now presenting their 2016 at Lincoln Center's David H. Koch Theater through June 19th. There are five different programs that feature over a dozen works. Alvin Ailey fans, dance enthusiasts, and many more will revel in the opportunity to see the company's stunning displays of modern dance that celebrate the African-American cultural experience.

We attended the Thursday evening June 9th presentation of "21st Century Voices." The program opened with "Open Door" that features choreography by Ronald K. Brown and music by Arturo O'Farrill and the Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra. This work for ten dancers was inspired by Brown's travels to Cuba. It is a charismatic piece that progresses beautifully to include lively Salsa partnering.

"Untitled America" has choreography by Kyle Abraham and traditional music by Raime. It is the second installment of a three-part suite in which Abraham explores the impact of the penal system on African-Americans and their families. This incredibly relevant piece is a moving experience as seven of the company's dancers evoke the pain of incarceration and its effects on the human condition.

"No longer Silent" is choreographed by the company's Artistic Director, Robert Battle, with music by Erwon Schulhoff. It was originally created in 2007 for Battle's alma mater, The Juilliard School. In the piece, four groups of dancers dressed all in black move in military style formations. It is a dramatic number that showcases the company's precision and evokes a sense of unity over turmoil.

"Exodus" is an ideal finale to round out the program,"21st Century Voices." Choreographed by Rennie Harris with music by Raphael Xaviaer, Ost & Kjex, the gospel and house music along with spoken word accompany a dynamic presentation of individualism. "Exodus" highlights the respective talents of the Alvin Ailey dancers in a perfect collective.

Experience the vitality, the pageantry and the passion of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. It is a fantastic way to kick off your summer schedule of entertainment.

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater includes company members, Hope Boykin, Jeroboam Bozeman, Sean Aaron Carmon, Elisa Clark Sarah Daley Ghrai DeVore, Solomon Dumas, Samantha Figgins, Vernard J. Gilmore, Jacqueline Green, Daniel Harder, Jacquelin Harris, Colin Heyward, Michael Jackson, Jr., Megan Jakel, Yannick Lebrun, Renaldo Maurice, Ashley Mayeaux, Michael Francis McBride, Rachael McLaren, Chalvar Montiero, Akua Noni Parker, Danica Paulos, Belen Pereyra, Jamar Roberts, Samuel Lee Roberts, Kanji Segawa, Glenn Allen Sims, Linda Celeste Sims, Constance Stamatiou, Jermaine Terry and Fana Tesfagiorgis. Matthew Rushing is the Rehearsal Director and Guest Artist. The Artistic Director is Robert Battle, the Associate Artistic Director is Masaxumi Chaya and the Executive Director is Bennett Rink.

The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater will be at The David Koch Theater through Sunday, June 19th. Tickets start at $25 and can be purchased at the David H. Koch Box Office, by phone at 212.496.0600 and online at www.alvinailey.org. For information about discounts for groups, students and Ailey's tour performances, visit www.alvinailey.org.

Photo Credit: Ronald Brown's "Open Door" by Paul Kolnik

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