Ailey rep line-up for O.C. lacks work by female choreographer

Paul Taylor oversees Alvin Ailey “Arden Court” rehearsal. Photo by Andrea Mohin/The New York Times, companion to Gia Kourlis’ piece

On tap during the upcoming seven-performance roster of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in Orange County: a juicy line-up of works by primarily American choreographers — we really like that and we include Ohad Naharin as an honorary American since his early career had a strong presence in New York.

It’s spot-on that Robert Battle, Ailey’s young new artistic director, invited Paul Taylor to stage his “Arden Court” on the Ailey company, and we’ll see that work in Orange County.

I’m salivating over these great nuggets, listed below, and planning to attend on the run’s second night.

However, if I may, pose a question to Robert Battle: Where is one single work by a woman choreographer? That’s a serious omission for the company of Alvin Ailey, who respected women and choreographed “Cry.” Would Judith Jamison approve?

Arden Court (1981), Paul Taylor
Set to a baroque score by William Boyce, Arden Court is a richly dynamic dance featuring striking duets, solos and a men’s sextet showcasing the dancers’ skills and musicality.
Home (2011), Rennie Harris
Home is a new work by Harris set to a soul-lifting score of gospel house music.
Minus 16 (1999), Ohad Naharin
Using American-Israeli choreographer Naharin’s “Gaga” method, Minus 16 features a delightfully eclectic score ranging from Dean Martin to cha-cha, from techno-pop to traditional Israeli music.
Takademe (1999), Robert Battle
Takademe is a savvy deconstruction and abstraction of the tightly woven rhythms of Indian Kathak dance.
Streams (1970), Alvin Ailey, music by Miloslav Kabelac
Streams, Ailey’s first full-length dance without a plot, an exploration of the architecture of bodies in space, the landmark work contains solos, duets and group passages that reflect the powerful score by Miloslav Kabelac.
The Hunt (2001), Robert Battle, music by Les Tambours du Bronx
Battle’s athletic work for six men reveals the predatory side of human nature and the primitive thrill of the hunt.
Memoria (1979) Alvin Ailey, music by Keith Jarrett
In the tumultuous time of 1979 when Ailey’s great, perennial friend from his Lester Horton days, choreographer Joyce Trisler, died prematurely, he began choreographing Memoria. The ballet is structured in two parts – “In Memory” and “In Celebration” – to the music of Keith Jarrett.
Night Creature (1975), Alvin Ailey, music by Duke Ellington
Combining modern dance, classical ballet and jazz, and juxtaposed within Duke Ellington’s jazz idiom, Night Creature captivates with Ailey’s sexy nocturnal rituals that propel the movement into a fast-paced climatic catharsis.
Revelations (1960), Alvin Ailey, music: Traditional
This season celebrates five decades of Ailey’s timeless masterpiece, Revelations, an American classic. Using African-American religious music – spirituals – this suite fervently explores the places of deepest grief and holiest joy in the soul.
Urban Folk Dance (1990), choreographed by Ulysses Dove, music by Michael Torke
A seamless blend of expressive theatricality and heart-stopping athleticism, Dove’s choreography captures the raw complexity of modern relationships.

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater | Segerstrom Center for the Arts | Costa Mesa | March 6 – 11


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