Abdul Latif Creates World Premiere For Ashley Bouder Project At The Joyce

By: Jun. 20, 2018

Abdul Latif, known for his urban contemporary dance aesthetic and juxtaposed movement, will present the world premiere of Alas, with The Ashley Bouder Project, as part of the Joyce Ballet Festival, July 2-5. As part of a program dedicated to promoting diversity within the performing arts world, Latif joins Lauren Lovette, Liz Gerring, and Annabelle Lopez-Ochoa, to create new works on Bouder's ensemble.

Set to a rendition of Max Richter's recomposed Vivaldi's Spring III, with live remixed vocal accompaniment by Latif, Alas brings classical music into the spotlight in a way that entices younger generations-a unique fusion of jazz scatting, hip-hop beat-boxing and polyphonic vocalizations set the soundscape. Fusing neo-classical and contemporary ballet with Latif's urban sensibility, Alas is a merger of rhythms and movements from everyday life, intersecting with ballet vocabulary. The premiere was conceptualized by Latif and his team of collaborators, AL-D2D/T, in early 2018, with development through the winter months. Latif sources both the traditions of the multi-armed Hindu gods and Da Vinci's Vitruvian Man, along with house voguing, to bring newness to tradition.

"To be a part of Ashley Bouder's bigger mission to present the marginalized artists of our community is a celebration of progress," explains Latif. "Dance is for everyone and directly stems from our everyday lives. Alas, like my body of work, is the personification of where street and studio meet, with a curbside chic quality to it."

In an ode to the power of the feminine divine, Alas is a whirlwind of five movements: The Mystic, The Mistress, The Maverick, The Maiden, The Matriarch. Utilizing the virtuosity and speed of Bouder's technical abilities, the first movement is an intricate and bold solo. From the portrayal of the dynamic female roles of mother, sister, romantic companion, Ashley Bouder is joined by New York City ballet peers Olivia MacKinon (corps de ballet), India Bradley (apprentice), Roman Mejia (corps de ballet), Devin Alberda (corps de ballet), and Damien Johnson (Ballet Black). Select evenings Claire Kretzschmar (corps de ballet) will perform the lead part, originated on Ashley Bouder.

Abdul Latif will host a FREE closing night after party at Gallery 151. A tribute to Ben Rodriguez, program director at Rockefeller Brothers Fund, the celebration will include a silent auction of Daniel Sutherland's (scenic imagery for Alas) images, which will be on display at the gallery during July, as well as a replica of an Alas costume made by Toronto Fashion Designers, Luis Padilla and Ana Carpio.


Alaswill be a part of The Ashley Bouder Project's Joyce appearances, Monday and Tuesday, July 2-3 at 7:30 p.m., and Thursday, July 5 at 8:00 p.m. Tickets are $40, $25, and $20, and may be purchased online athttps://joyce.org/performances/ashley-bouder-project.

The Joyce Theater is located at 175 Eighth Avenue in the Chelsea district of Manhattan and accessible by the 1 train to 18thStreet, the A/C/E to 14thStreet, or the L train to Eighth Avenue.

The Gallery 151 Celebration will take place closing night, July 5, 9:30 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. - the celebration is FREE. Gallery 151 is located at 245 West 14thSt.

Made up of five movements, Alas is inspired by the alpha and omega perception of the female presence.