Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater is no stranger to Chicago audiences as it's graced stages in the city often over the last few decades. The troupe, founded by Alvin Ailey in the late '50s, is known for its dynamic choreography and soulful performances.
The company is currently bringing its stellar program to Windy City audiences through March 9 at The Auditorium Theatre. Various premieres and signature Ailey pieces star on the roster.
During the troupe's opening night on Feb. 28, fans were treated to a trio of captivating and energetic works. On the roster were "Chroma," "Four Corners" and the popular "Revelations."
One of the company's dancers, Gary native Renaldo Gardner, has been with the troupe now for a little more than a year and he was front and center when the company performed the beloved "Revelations."
The work "Chroma" opened the show proving a powerful showcase for the dancers. "Chroma," a company premiere, was choreographed by Britain's Wayne McGregor, and is set to music by Jody Talbot and orchestrations by The White Stripes' Jack White III. The work featured a strong blend of modern, angular moves as well as sleek choreography against a stark background. The dancers were fascinating to watch as they traveled swiftly and with great precision across the stage.
In "Four Corners," it was easy for audience members to be inspired to want to dance themselves. The rhythmic movements echoing West African dance styles by acclaimed choreographer Ronald K. Brown and the pulsating sounds were a successful mix. The troupe's dancers performed non-stop and never waned in energy.
One of the most popular works on Ailey's programs is "Revelations," which always ends every show.The dance, done in several parts, pays homage to the African-American spirituals of old and features three segments with songs such as "Didn't My Lord Deliver Daniel," "Fix me, Jesus," "Wade in the Water" and Rocka My Soul in the Bosom of Abraham."
Dance fans won't want to miss Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater's performance here. There are a variety of other works on the program throughout the rest of the week.
FYI: Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater will perform through March 9 at The Auditorium Theatre, 50 E. Congress Parkway, Chicago. Tickets are $32 to $92. Visit ticketmaster.com/auditorium or call (800) 982-2787. The troupe will also have a Master Class Series on March 8 which will feature an adult master class in jazz technique. Cost for the class is $20. For information or to sign up, call (312) 341-2340.