BWW Review: REVEAL: CHOREOGRAPHY AND PERFORMANCES BY THE AILEY DANCERS at The Ailey Citigroup Theater
I never miss an opportunity to watch the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater at work. These dynamic dancers are stunning storytellers in motion. Through masterful movement, they share and bear witness to the truths and spirit of the African-American experience and bring an inspired and unique point of view to every performance. So it was a special treat to watch a streamlined group of Ailey dancers tackle their own works in "Reveal: Choreography and Performances by the Ailey Dancers."
Performed at The Ailey Citigroup Theater in Ailey's home, The Joan Weill Center for Dance, Reveal featured nine original works choreographed and performed by members of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, with a special appearance by acclaimed Guest Artist and Rehearsal Director Matthew Rushing. Choreographers included Hope Boykin, Clifton Brown, Vernard Gilmore, Yannick Lebrun, Chalvar Monteiro, Jamar Roberts, and Kanji Segawa.
Whereas a few of the pieces felt like works in progress, for me the afternoon's crown jewel was Boykin's "The Vote." The dramatic piece featured 12 male and female dancers clad in black and white business attire. They acted out a tense jury deliberation, and the dance could be added to the Ailey company's repertoire right away.
Other highlights included Brown's irreverent and sunny "Bada bup bup," which featured six dancers; Lebrun's physically demanding duet "Saa Magni," magically danced by Jacquelin Harris and Solomon Dumas; and the closing, Carnival-themed "Palance," choreographed by Roberts and danced with rhythmic, joyful abandon by four male dancers (Jeroboam Bozeman, Michael Jackson Jr., Yannick Lebrun and Chalvar Monteiro) and one female dancer (Ghrai DeVore). An Ailey company standout in the timeless crowd pleaser "Revelations," the vibrant DeVore more than held her own with her muscular male counterparts in "Palance."
Proceeds from the performance benefitted the Ailey Dancers' Resource Fund (ADRF), which started in 1995 to assist current and former company members with grants for career transition, creative endeavors or emergency loans.