On Tuesday, Jan. 28, the New York-based Ailey II dance company will make Tuskegee University part of its six-month, 30-city international tour — during which its acclaimed 12-member ensemble of rising stars has been inspiring audiences all over the world. In addition to repertory favorites, the tour includes four world premieres by current and former theater members, as well as four new dancers who have trained extensively at The Ailey School.
The public performance — a free-admission event — is scheduled for 7 p.m. in the university’s Logan Hall. To provide ample time to seat attendees, doors will open at 6 p.m. Seating will be limited and on a first-come, first-served basis.
As the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s junior company, Ailey II merges the spirit and energy of the country’s best young dance talent with the passion and creative vision of today’s most promising emerging choreographers. Under the artistic direction of Troy Powell, Ailey II’s repertory includes a diverse array of ballets created by the innovative choreographer.
“For over four decades, Ailey II has opened doors and opportunities for young artists yearning to grow,” Powell said. “I am excited this season to bring on board four choreographers who have had strong ties to The Ailey School, which is now celebrating 50 years of excellence. These four dynamic new commissions will showcase the school’s world-class training and spotlight Ailey II’s athleticism, artistry and agility.”
Founded in 1974 to bridge The Ailey School and the professional dance world, Ailey II embodies Alvin Ailey’s pioneering mission to establish an extended cultural community that provides dance performances, training and community programs for all people. Ailey II flourished into one of the most popular dance companies in the country under the leadership of Sylvia Waters from 1974 to 2012 by combining a rigorous touring schedule with extensive community outreach programs. With Powell currently at the helm, Ailey II continues to thrive as he brings a fresh dimension to this beloved company.
Ailey II’s world tour will feature an educational outreach component offering a variety of special activities, including master classes, student performances, and lecture-demonstrations. The performance on Tuskegee’s campus will mark the company’s return to the U.S. following mid-tour international stops in France, Germany and Italy. Ailey II will continue touring throughout the southern U.S. before returning to New York for its annual season March 25 to April 5 at the Ailey Citigroup Theater.
The Jan. 28 Ailey II performance is part of Tuskegee University’s annual Lyceum Series, which leverages artistic, literary and cultural programs to spotlight contemporary societal topics for students and the surrounding community. For more information about the series and updates on future presenters, visit www.tuskegee.edu/lyceumseries.
© 2020, Tuskegee University; photos by Nir Areli, © Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater