Alvin Ailey at City Center, New York: old hands with new ideas

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
Financial Times

Two company veterans have created distinctive new dances

By Apollinaire Scherr

“If the fine score that jazz drummer Ali Jackson fashioned for Dream fits like a glove, the swing, soar and roil of the two tracks from Coltrane’s Olé that Roberts uses serve as a counter to the dancing’s darker mood.

The work begins with a Revelations-esque tableau. With faces obscured behind broad-brimmed sun hats, the dancers have their arms extended in spiritual pleading. When they reach again, though, we notice a robotic jerk, as if the will had been paralysed and the arms were operated by remote control. Repeated too often, history makes machines of us.

Or it empties us out. In a tour de force with Jeroboam Bozeman, Ghrai DeVore keeps trying to elude his loving embrace. She wants “space to breathe”, as people say. But even with solitude secured, there seems to be nothing to do except exhale — deflate. Inspiration doesn’t follow. Members Don’t Get Weary is subtle and wise.”

Read the rest of the review.