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Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater: Memoria, Reflections in D, Treading, Revelations
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Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater: Memoria, Reflections in D, Treading, Revelations

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Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
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Alvin Ailey – Founder
Judith Jamison – Artistic Director
Joan H. Weill, Chairman of the Board of Trustees
Masazumi Chaya – Associate Artistic Director
Sharon Gersten Luckman --Executive Director
Calvin Hunt, Senior Director, Performance and Production
Dacquiri T’Shaun Smittick, Company Manager
Amadea Edwards, Manager, Performance and Production
Jodi Pam Krizer, Director of Marketing
Lynette Rizzo, Associate Director of Marketing
Jennifer Fyall, Marketing Coordinator
Christopher Zunner, Director of Public Relations

Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
December 12, 2007

(See Other Ailey Reviews and Photos)

Memoria (1979) In Memory and in Celebration: Choreography by Alvin Ailey, Music by Keith Jarrett (“Runes Solara March”), Costumes by A. Christina Giannini, Lighting by Chenault Spence, Performed by the Company and members of The Ailey School. Alvin Ailey created this work as a memorial tribute to his friend, Joyce Trisler, a choreographer from his Lester Horton experiences. Ailey combined the main Company with Ailey II and The Ailey School to join all his dancers together for this creation. Linda Celeste Sims, Amos J. Machanic, Jr., Clifton Brown, and the Company and School exemplified grief and celebration, heartbreak and joy. There are red costumes and white costumes, flowing movement and up-stretched arms. Ms. Celeste Sims literally defied gravity in her bending and shifting balances and undulating torso, seizing the momentum of this iconic work.

Reflections in D (1962): Choreography by Alvin Ailey, Restaged by Judith Jamison, Music by Duke Ellington (“Reflections in D”), Lighting by Nicola Cernovitch, Performed by Clifton Brown. Clifton Brown was the Man of the Hour this Ailey Season, featured on almost every night (Where does he get his endless energy?), and, at times, in sequential dances, ripping and leaping through space like a panther on fire. In Ailey’s 1962 solo work, re-staged by Judith Jamison, Mr. Brown delivers a brief, but gripping performance to the music of Duke Ellington, and his every muscle and nerve seemed exposed in deep blue pants against a deep blue backdrop. This was charismatic, fascinating dance.

Treading (1979): Choreography by Elisa Monte, Music by Steve Reich "Eighteen Musicians", Costumes by Marisol, Lighting by Beverly Emmons, Performed by Linda Celeste Sims and Matthew Rushing. Treading, with Linda Celeste Sims and Matthew Rushing, was the quintessential bookend to Reflections in D. Matthew Rushing was also frequently featured this season, and this duo dance, in dark luminescence, called for extreme athleticism, and the dancers met the challenge. Mr. Rushing somersaulted, balanced on his ankles, and lifted Ms. Celeste Sims by her feet. They crawled under each other’s torso and legs, and Steve Reich’s pulsating electronic score made this an awe-inspiring work.

Revelations (1960): Choreography by Alvin Ailey, Music, Traditional, Décor and Costumes by Ves Harper, Costumes for "Rocka My Soul" Redesigned by Barbara Forbes, Lighting by Nicola Cernovitch, Performed by the Company.

Once again, Revelations drove that hypnotically familiar collection of music with seasoned dance intensity. Even though this work has been performed numerous times each and every season, week after week, and on tour throughout the year, it always appears fresh and original. In tonight’s cast, Matthew Rushing was the soloist for “I Wanna Be Ready”, and his driven characterization was striking. “Wade in the Water” featured Rosalyn Deshauteurs, Glenn Allen Sims, and the ever-captivating Renee Robinson. When that blue material starts billowing in the wind, the audience starts swaying. Revelations may well be one of the greatest and best known dance pieces in American repertory. And, once again, the Company gave the audience that anticipated encore, with clapping and accolades, all around.

Kudos to the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater for another memorable and monumental season. You can catch them on tour by checking

Revelations by Alvin Ailey
Renee Robinson
Photo by Paul Kolnik

For more information, contact Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower at