Ailey II


April 18, 2009 -  matinee performance


Ailey II is the upcoming company of the Alvin Ailey Dance Co.  Most of the main company’s dancers come from here.


Some interesting choreography.  In the second number, “The Calling,”  Fana Fraser danced solo in a piece which appeared to me as a fly trying to escape from a spider’s web.  But that was just an impression.  These are not story dances.


Josh Johnson excelled throughout. 


Sometimes I think I shouldn’t review dance programs.


Debra Randall, who is a true dance aficionado, loved it.  But sometimes I feel it is not the expert who should review, but the neophyte, he or she who knows nothing and is therefore unencumbered in his openness to something new:  the music, the moves, the choreography.


One parameter I use is whether I am rapt or distracted.  When I am in the presence of a great show or movie or whatever, I am of one mind, one consciousness, one soul.  No thought intrudes, the feeling is pure.


Not so with this production.  My mind wandered;  my ears hurt from what I dubiously call music. 


The dancers are super talented;  the music and choreography had its moments, but at times it was just too much.  I felt I was watching a four ring circus with different things going on all over the stage. 


I often feel the music choices this company makes–the main company as well as Ailey II–could easily be improved upon.  This performance was no exception. There is so much good rhythmic and melodic music in this world.  Ailey’s choices sometimes mystify me.


I think this company could improve a lot given the obvious talent it has.


As I say, my knowledgeable companion was enthralled by the production, but I was less so.  As an audience member who just wants to be entertained, I found myself left out.