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Tennessee Performing Arts Center
505 Deaderick St, Nashville, Tennessee 37243
Following a five-week season launch in New York City, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater will continue to grace stages from coast to coast during a 21-city North American tour beginning January 30th including the creation of new works, arts-in-education activities, and scholarships to talented young area dancers to attend The Ailey School in New York.
Artistic Director Robert Battle leads Ailey’s 32 extraordinary dancers as they continue the Company’s legacy of using the African-American cultural experience and the American modern dance tradition to uplift, unite, and enlighten. The tour’s expansive repertory – which varies from city to city – includes returning favorites, new productions, and world premieres by some of the freshest choreographic voices in modern dance.
Ailey star Jamar Roberts’ Members Don’t Get Weary is his first world premiere for the Company, which he joined in 2002. Roberts says the work is “a response to the current social landscape in America,” and “takes an abstract look into the notion of one ‘having the blues.’” Set to the powerful music of the legendary jazz saxophonist and composer John Coltrane 50 years after his death, the work aims to allow the audience to momentarily transcend their own personal blues.
Spanish choreographer Gustavo Ramírez Sansano’s work takes the Ailey stage for the first time with his world premiere, Victoria. Spanish for “victory,” the work is a tribute to the triumph of good over evil. Set to an adaptation of Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony by award-winning composer Michael Gordon, Victoria features Sansano’s signature whimsy, theatricality, and physicality. Sansano’s work – hailed for its originality and expressiveness – has appeared on companies around the world, including Nederlands Dans Theater, Compañía Nacional de Danza, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Ballet Hispánico, and Atlanta Ballet.
The tour will also include a striking Company premiere by Robert Battle, and riveting new productions by three American dance innovators. Battle’s Mass is an ensemble work that gives physical life to a haunting score by frequent collaborator John Mackey. Tony Award-winning choreographer Twyla Tharp’s The Golden Section is a sizzling ensemble work filled with breathtaking leaps, finely-honed partnering, and explosive joy, and is set to a propulsive score by David Byrne. Urban Bush Women founder Jawole Willa Jo Zollar’s Shelter – a gripping portrait of homelessness, set to an inventive score featuring drumming by Junior “Gabu” Wedderburn, poetry by Hattie Gossett and Laurie Carlos, and a new text by Zollar that references recent natural disasters – returns to the Ailey stage 25 years after first being performed by the Company. Ailey also celebrates modern dance pioneer Talley Beatty during his centennial with the return of Stack-Up, set to the background of vibrant 1970s beats (Earth, Wind & Fire, Grover Washington Jr., Fearless Four, and Alphonze Mouzon) and a graffiti landscape. Inspired by Los Angeles’ urban landscape and the lives of its disparate inhabitants, the work depicts the emotional “traffic” in a community that is stacked on top of each other.
Tickets go on sale November 10 at 10 a.m.