The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater makes Miami its only South Florida stop on its current North American tour when it returns here this week.
Led by Miami native Robert Battle, the famous dance troupe’s return here has become an annual Black History Month event. The company performs Thursday through Sunday at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts.
The selection of works, which include premiers, will be seen on a rotating schedule over the dance company’s stay. These major works include the following:
- Awakening, which is Battle’s first world premiere since he native took the helm as the company’s artistic director. This piece was co-commissioned by the Arsht Center as part of its 10th season celebration, and features Jamar Roberts, who also from Miami and is one of Ailey’s stars. Buoyed by the composer John Mackey’s complex orchestral music, this ballet features a cast of a dozen of Ailey’s dancers on a cathartic journey.
- Choreographer Ronald K. Brown’s new Cuban-inspired creation, Open Door, will also be performed that night. This piece is driven by the vibrant, rhythmic music from Arturo O’Farrill and the Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra’s latest album Cuba: The Conversation Continues. This work is heavily influenced by Brown’s travels to Cuba over the years, and explores the ways in which music can act as a guide in opening pathways to culture, movement, and dance.
- Exodus, a 2015 world premiere by hip-hop choreographer Rennie Harris; the company premiere Piazzolla Caldera, modern dance master Paul Taylor’s sizzling ballet capturing the essence of tango culture; and Christopher Wheeldon’s dreamlike After the Rain Pas de Deux.
- No Longer Silent, Robert Battle’s acclaimed work bringing to life the music of Erwin Schulhoff, a composer who was silenced by the Nazis, along with Rennie Harris’ critically-acclaimed Exodus.
A family matinee performance on Saturday features free post-performance Q & A with Battle and Roberts. Robert Battle’s life growing up in Miami inspired the recently released Simon & Schuster children’s book My Story, My Dance: Robert Battle’s Journey to Alvin Ailey.
Also, as is tradition at all Ailey performances, each show will close with Revelations, the American masterpiece acclaimed as a must-see and recognized by U.S. Senate resolution. This is Ailey’s signature work, which was first produced in 1960, and tells the story of the African-American’s faith and tenacity from slavery to freedom through a suite of music ranging from spirituals to blues.
More info: Arsht Center