BWW Interviews: Vernard Gilmore of ALVIN AILEY at NJ PAC

BWW Interviews:  Vernard Gilmore of ALVIN AILEY at NJ PAC

New Jersey Performing Arts Center will present the Alvin Ailey Dance American Dance Theater on Saturday, May 10th at 8:00 pm and Sunday May 11th at 1:00 pm and 5:00 pm in the center's Prudential Hall. Vernard Gilmore will dance in Aszure Barton's Lift on Saturday and also dance the lead on Sunday in Alvin Ailey's Night Creature and the River. had the fascinating opportunity to interview Mr. Gilmore about his career and the upcoming show.

A native of Chicago, Gilmore began dancing at Curie Performing and Creative Arts High School. He originally entered the high school as a Television Production Student but soon became fascinated with the dance department. His passion for the art led him to study at the Joseph Holmes Chicago Dance Theater with Harriet Ross, Marquita Levy, and Emily Stein. During his teen years, he also took class at the summer intensive at the Ailey School.

Gilmore joined the Alvin Ailey Dance Company in 1997. He expressed pride in the eclectic repertory of Ailey and that simple component was part of the "magic of the company."

He said, "The Ailey Company embodies the idea of using all different techniques and expressing all cultures."

Mr. Gilmore is an active choreographer for the Ailey Dancers Resource Fund and has choreographed for Fire Island Dance Festival 2008 and Jazz Foundation of America Gala 2010; he also produced the Dance of Light Project in January 2010. "For me, as a choreographer, I want to create works of art that are exhibitions of life." And, it is these works of art that dancers will have the opportunity to perform again and again. Gilmore strives to have his dancers "seek freedom through movement."

He continues to teach workshops and master classes around the world. We asked him about his dedication to teaching. He said, "When I am teaching, I want my students to understand the essence of what they want to do." He also said, "I love teaching because it is a moment to give back and so many people have given to me." He feels that his students must have "open eyes and open minds."

Gilmore is looking forward to returning to New Jersey Performing Arts Center for the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater's spring season. He called the center in Newark a "second home" and said that performing there has always been a "special time" for him and the company.

For more information on NJ PAC and to purchase tickets for Alvin Ailey on May 10th and 11th and other upcoming performances, visit or call 1-888-GO-NJPAC. You can also visit the New Jersey Performing Arts Center's box office at One Center Street in the heart of the Newark Arts District.

Photo Credit: Alvin Ailey Dance Theater "Night Creature" with Vernard Gilmore

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Marina Kennedy Marina P. Kennedy writes articles and reviews for on performance venues in New York and New Jersey. She is the Editor in Chief of BWW's Food & Wine and the Senior New Jersey Editor. She also has a regular column in, "Fit Food Finds," which discusses healthy eating. Her interest in fitness, dance, and theatre stem from the many years she owned and operated a dance school, "Dance Unlimited" in New Jersey. She enjoys a very active journalism career and loves writing for You can follow Marina on Twitter and Instagram @marinapk6.
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