Bill T.’s “D-Man in the Waters” revived by Ailey @ Segerstrom


On offer this weekend at Segerstrom Center for the Arts from Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater: a major reconstruction of Bill T. Jones’s AIDS-related dance work, “D-Man in the Waters.

The controversial choreographer created “D-Man” in 1989 at the height of the auto-immune-disease pandemic that robbed our world of many lives nonsensically but hit the dance community particularly hard.

The piece is set to familiar music by Mendelssohn, the composer’s “Octet for Strings.”


The addition to the Ailey company repertory of this seminal work (it propelled Jones’s career) acknowledges, whether tacitly or overtly, the death of Alvin Ailey from AIDS the year Jones made “D-Man.”

Jones himself was careening after the loss of his life and artistic partner Arnie Zane to the disease.

It will be fascinating to revisit this memory-slice from the late twentieth century.

“D-Man” is on view this weekend, along with Wayne McGregor’s “Chroma” and Alvin Ailey’s “Revelations,” which if you haven’t seen it at least 100 times in person, well, then you haven’t fully lived.

Two weekend matinees, one Saturday, one Sunday, provide a good hedge against traffic … so ease on down the 405 … and Ailey up!

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater | Segerstrom Center for the Arts | thru Sunday

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