Friday, March 18, 2011
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, Ballet BC
March 18 -19, 2011, Ballet BC presents the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre, Judith Jamison Artistic Director. Emily Molnar, Artistic Director of Ballet BC opened tonight's unforgettable evening welcoming the Alvin Ailley African American troupe as part of Ballet BC's 25 Anniversary Season. Emily Molnar graciously put in a plug for this season's last performance of Ballet BC next month with Canada's chamber orchestra, Turning Point Ensemble.
Then the curtain rose to the spectacular opening number, "Memoria" , dedicated to joy, with Alvin Ailley's unique modern dance. Such long limbed women and powerfully muscled men. "Cry" choreographed by Alvin Ailley, celebrated black women everywhere. The Hunt choreographed by Robert Battle was stylized primal male tribal dance that had the audience leaping to their feet with resounding applause. Tall people with high lifts and long leaps. "Revelations," from 1960, Gospel music and a history of black women and men in dance in the American south was a story in magnificent movement Costumes, lighting, dance, everything was truly splendid. It was an exhilerating experience.
Two or three decades back, I first saw Alvin Ailley American Dance Theater perform in Winnipeg. I never forgot that glorious night and often spoke of it. Seeing tonights performance I understood why it so moved me that first time. It still does today.