Ailey guys fly 3

Ailey_brownDoing the math is a bit frightening, but I’ve been viewing Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater for about 30 years. So going to an Ailey concert feels a lot like visiting an old friend.

matthew-rushingThis proud dance company, with its sensational dancers, puts on a show like no other. The male corps de ballets, led by Clifton Brown (above), is an ensemble of dancing gods. Who can resist their amazing moves? The love affair between the Ailey company and its audience is also very special.

Performances at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion were particularly sweet following the announcement of a $20 million dollar gift for dance presentation from patron Glorya Kaufman. It was a happy day for dance in Los Angeles.

After the Saturday matinee performance, the audience emptied the theatre onto the Plaza to witness the Music Center’s fun community participation program, “A Taste of Dance” in peak session. Ailey Dancer Matthew Rushing, shown flying at right, taught a brief section of Ailey’s masterpiece Revelations to anyone who wanted to take a run at it.

Having studied copiously at the Ailey school when I was a dancer in New York, I was not about to miss out on the fun. I’m tucked into this tangle of people practicing the opening steps of “Wade in the Water.”

Below Rushing leads a parade of future Alvin Ailey dancers:

kid parade-2

3 thoughts on “Ailey guys fly

  1. Bernice Mar 31,2009 5:27 pm

    You stand out as the best in the crowd. A good and interesting blog.

  2. raffaello Mar 21,2009 12:32 pm

    I felt lucky to be there. Even the large head in front of me did not diminish the trance!

  3. Keith Mar 20,2009 10:05 pm

    The downside of the donation to local dance is that it doesn’t help local dance! Sure, the money will help pay for the big international touring companies to visit and do some outreach activities for underserved communities, but what about the LA’s own dance community members? It seems to me the gift is a name-enhancing gesture that could’ve made a bigger difference had the money been invested in local dance. This lack of support is endemic to the local dance struggle to survive, present itself professionally and develop–both as artists and as audiences.

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