Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater

This is AA’s 50th anniversary and they are doing it up.  The performance I saw on Tuesday was sketchy.  The Golden Section, choreographed by Twyla Tharpe continues her trend of weaker works than the spectacular ones for which she is known.  The music was jarring to me and my colleague, as was the music for the second selection, a piece choreographed by Ailey himself in 1958. 

The dancers are always great–every minute of every number–but dance is a marriage of movement and music.  If the music is weak, then the show disappoints, as did these first two numbers.  Fortunately the third, a rousing piece based on the music of Otis Redding and choreographed by George Faison (who was in attendance) was masterful.  For the first time all evening, the marriage of music and movement worked beautifully and showed the best of this fine company.  The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater is a wonderful institution with great community programs.  I hope Ms. Tharp understands that until she is re-inspired she should leave the choreography to others who still have it.

Dec 09 ‘08