Ailey II Embarks On 2019-2020 World Tour With Performances In More Than 30 Cities
Over the next six months Ailey II is traveling around the globe inspiring audiences in more than 30 cities. The tour will take the acclaimed 12-member ensemble of rising stars across the U.S. from Towson, MD to Atlanta, GA to St. Louis, MO. Ailey II will also reach international audiences in Germany, France, and Italy before returning home for its annual New York season, taking place March 25 - April 5, 2020 at Ailey Citigroup Theater. Ailey II, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater's junior company that serves as a bridge between The Ailey School and the professional dance world, 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 promising emerging choreographers.
Under the artistic direction of Troy Powell, Ailey II's repertory includes a diverse array of ballets created by innovative choreographers. In addition to repertory favorites, four world premieres gracing the stage this season include former Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater member Kirven Douthit-Boyd's Still, former Ailey II Rehearsal Director Alia Kache's The Gone, Ailey company member Yannick Lebrun's Saa Magni and Artistic Director of Gallim Dance Andrea Miller's Psūkhe.
"For over four decades Ailey II has opened doors and opportunities for young artists yearning to grow," said Troy Powell. "I am excited this season to bring on board four choreographers who have had strong ties to The Ailey School, which is now celebrating 50 years of excellence. These four dynamic new commissions will showcase the School's world-class training and spotlight Ailey II's athleticism, artistry, and agility."
In the world premiere work Still, former Ailey dancer Kirven Douthit-Boyd shines a light on these artists with a present-day response that captures the vibrant energy that filled the streets during this historic era. With a mix of modern and contemporary movement, this ensemble work is set to an original score by Lamar Harris that has influences from jazz, hip-hop, and world music.
A heartfelt love letter to ones lost, former Rehearsal Director Alia Kache makes her Ailey II choreographic debut with The Gone. This sextet embraces her unique style of movement - a fusion of ballet, Forsythe, Graham, Hawkins, and Horton - which is wonderfully paired with the soulful music of singer-songwriter Be Steadwell.
In the intimate Saa Magni - the title means "death is terrible" - Ailey company member Yannick Lebrun delivers a passionate duet filled with the angst and fear that comes along with the mourning process. One dancer portrays a lamented soul while the other provides strength and solace. Set to music by Malian singer Oumou Sangaré, Lebrun's movement is long and reaching with striking lines and full-bodied lifts.
Artistic Director of Gallim Andrea Miller, known for her visceral and imaginative work, makes her Ailey II debut with her ballet Psūkhe (pronounced 'SOO-keh'). This energetic full company work is rooted in the Gaga movement language first developed by Batsheva's Ohad Naharin and features unexpected partnering and complex solos set to the electronic music of Nicolas Jaar. The title is an Ancient Greek word meaning 'life's breath, spirit, and soul' and is the origin for the English word 'psyche.'
Continuing Alvin Ailey's mission of bringing dance to the people, Ailey II's world tour will feature an educational outreach component offering a variety of special activities, including master classes, student performances, and lecture-demonstrations.
In addition, four new dancers who all trained extensively at The Ailey School - Elijah Lancaster, Jamaris Mitchell, Jeffrey Robert Robinson II, and Brena Thomas - join the eight returning members -Grace Bergonzi, Leonardo Brito, Carl Ponce Cubero, Caroline Theodora Dartey, Amarachi Valentina Korie, Kyle H. Martin, Alisha Rena Peek, and Marcel Wilson, Jr. Along with the four world premieres, Ailey II's touring repertory will include Breaking Point by Renee McDonald, Road To One by Darrell Grand Moultrie, Touch & Agree by Juel D. Lane, and additional works by members of the Ailey family - Where There Are Tongues by Ailey School alum and former Ailey II dancer Bradley Shelver, Tracks by former Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater member Uri Sands, and Revelations - the must-see American masterpiece by Alvin Ailey himself. For more information on the tour, visit alvinailey.org.
Ailey II - Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater's Second Company - 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. Founded in 1974 as a bridge between The Ailey School and the professional dance world, Ailey II embodies Alvin Ailey's pioneering mission to establish an extended cultural community that provides dance performances, training, and community programs for all people. Ailey II flourished into one of the most popular dance companies in the country under the leadership of Sylvia Waters from 1974-2012, combining a rigorous touring schedule with extensive community outreach programs. With Artistic Director Troy Powell at the helm, Ailey II continues to thrive as he brings a fresh dimension to this beloved company.
2019-2020 Tour Schedule
Subject to Change - (As of 09.12.2019)
Aug. 8 Brooklyn, NY BRIC Celebration - Brooklyn Festival
Sept. 14 Towson, MD Stephens Hall Theatre at Towson University
Oct. 12 Waynesboro, VA Wayne Theatre
Oct. 13 Largo, MD Prince George's Community College / CPA
Oct. 16-17 Princeton, NJ McCarter Theatre / Berlind Theatre
Oct. 19 Wilmington, DE Grand Opera House / Copeland Hall
Oct. 20 Glassboro, NJ Pfleeger Concert Hall / Rowan University
Oct. 21 Harrisburg, PA Rose Lehrman Arts Center
Oct. 23 Orangeburg, SC Claflin University
Oct. 26 Atlanta, GA The Rialto Center for the Arts
Oct. 29 Joplin, MO Connect2Culture / Taylor Auditorium
Nov. 1 Clinton Township, MI Macomb Center for the Performing Arts
Nov. 3 Interlochen, MI Corson Auditorium / Interlochen Center for the Arts
Nov. 6 La Crosse, WI Viterbo University Fine Arts Center
Nov. 9 Glen Ellyn, IL McAninch Arts Center
Nov. 11-12 Rockford, IL Coronado Performing Arts Center
Nov. 13 Ames, IA Iowa State University / Stephens Auditorium
Nov. 15 Omaha, NE Omaha Performing Arts / Orpheum Theater
Nov. 19-23* Blagnac, France Odyssud
Jan. 14-15* Bonn, Germany Opemhaus Bonn
Jan. 17-18* Ludwigshafen, Germany Theater im Pfalzbau
Jan. 21* Bolzano, Italy TBD
Jan. 27 Tuskegee, AL Tuskegee University
Jan. 31 Athens, GA University of Georgia Fine Arts Theatre
Feb. 1 Thomasville, GA Thomasville Center for the Arts
Feb. 5 Wilmington, NC UNC Wilmington / Kenan Auditorium
Feb. 8 Miami, FL Adrienne Arsht Center
Feb. 11 Hanceville, AL Betty Leeth Haynes Theatre
Feb. 14-15 Luling, LA Lafon Performing Arts Center
Feb. 17 Oklahoma City, OK OCCC Visual & Performing Arts Center
Feb. 20 Shreveport, LA Strand Theatre
Feb. 22 St. Louis, MO Dance St. Louis
Mar. 25-Apr.5 New York, NY Ailey Citigroup Theater
*International tour dates