Alvin Alley dance theater: The company continues

July 1, 1993

Alvin Alley dance theater: The company continues

By Julian Swain, Dance Critic

Judith Jamison, Masazumi Chaya, and Dudley Williams—names synonymous with the development of the Alvin Ailey Dance Theater—are still optimizing the presentation and development of Alvin’s vision. Currently, a building program is underway. The largest dance facility in the nation, located at 55th and 9th Avenue in New York City, opens in 2004. Dedicated exclusively to dance, it will ensure a vital artistic educational and cultural institution for future generations.

The life of dance is like a tea-light candle, only a moment in time. The school is necessary for the development of all talent so essential to the continuity of Alvin Ailey’s legacy.

The performance at the Auditorium Theatre on Friday, April 4, Ailey Classics, consisted entirely of his work. The male contingent was breathtakingly strong. Juan Antonio Rodriguez, Kevin E. Boseman, Clifton Brown, and Glenn A. Sims epitomized the new male dancer. Dwana Adiaha Smallwood, a dancer of exceptional skill and energy starred in “Night Creatures,” an excerpt from Ailey Celebrates Ellington.

Coleridge Taylor Perkinson conducted, assembled and composed original music for Bird—With Love. Perkinson, in residence at Columbia College in Chicago, presents the music of African-Americans in every genre.

“Revelations” presented in its entirety closed a splendid evening of dance. Based on his “blood memories” of Texas, he used the blues, spirituals and gospels to create this most beloved work. Alvin Ailey Dance Theater remains the premier company not only in this country, but in the world.

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