Author: Jill Kimball

Ailey II brings innovative, youthful and passionate dance to Boulder

Alvin Ailey’s second company boasts ‘wow factor aplenty’.

“Wow factor aplenty,” says Herald Scotland. “Second to none,” gushes Dance Magazine. “The entire company … looks terrific,” proclaims The New York Times.

It’s impressive for any dance company to amass such effusive acclaim. But it’s downright awe-inspiring for a company whose members aren’t even old enough to rent a car.

Formed in 1974 by dance legend Alvin Ailey himself, Ailey II was founded to give promising students at The Ailey School a chance to tour brand-new works and get a taste of life as a professional dancer. Forty-five years later, the company’s reputation is unmatched by any other junior company in the world. Boulder audiences have a chance to see them live on Saturday, Feb. 17 at Macky Auditorium.

“These dancers are young, hungry and passionate,” says Ailey II Artistic Director Troy Powell. “Every time the curtain opens, they continue to celebrate Mr. Ailey’s legacy by telling their own stories in the most humanistic and honest way.”

At the center of the Boulder performance is “Revelations,” widely considered to be Alvin Ailey’s masterpiece. Choreographed in 1960, at the dawn of the civil rights movement, the piece is an homage to African Americans’ perseverance through hundreds of years of adversity. Through a soundtrack of religious music and movement that’s at once strong and ethereal, “Revelations” explores the pain, joy and hope that African Americans have all experienced. Nearly 60 years later, the work’s themes resonate as clearly as ever.

“‘Revelations’ was born from Mr. Ailey’s blood memories of growing up in Rogers, Texas, where he experienced racism, poverty and other hardships,” Powell says. “He always wanted to touch others’ lives by sharing the story of his.”

Also on the program is “Circular” by Jae Man Joo, a contemporary ballet about the complex range of human emotions and the power of unity, and “Breaking Point” by Renee I. McDonald, an intense modern piece.

“It will have the audience on the edge of their seats,” Powell says. “It captures the fight for our heart’s desires—whether it’s love, hope or just the need to survive. It’s about constantly fighting and reaching for something until you hit that ‘breaking point.’”

The company’s pieces all share a common thread of relatability, covering themes anyone from any background can understand. And it’s certain Alvin Ailey would approve: He once said, “Dance is for everybody. I believe that the dance came from the people and that it should always be delivered back to the people.”

More Artist Series events View all events

Canadian Brass

Loading
Dec 17, 2018

Canadian Brass

Christmas Time is Here
Starting at $21

Welcome the Christmas season with a performance of lively carols and other holiday favorites by the world’s most famous brass quintet. Clad in t...

Silkroad Ensemble

Loading
Jan 31, 2019

Silkroad Ensemble

Starting at $21

Founded 20 years ago by cellist Yo-Yo Ma, the Silkroad Ensemble uses music to bridge cultural divides. The ensemble brings together musicians from all...

Kodo One Earth Tour 2019

Loading
Feb 16, 2019

Kodo One Earth Tour 2019

Evolution
Starting at $23

Athletic energy, rich musical tradition and mesmerizing symmetry meet whenever this remarkable taiko drumming ensemble takes the stage. Kodo, named af...

Tafelmusik

Loading
Mar 4, 2019

Tafelmusik

Tales of Two Cities: The Leipzig-Damascus Coffee House
Starting at $15

In the 18th century, the coffee house was a popular gathering place for brilliant minds and musicians—and nowhere were the sights, sounds and sc...

Batsheva Dance Company

Loading
Mar 20, 2019

Batsheva Dance Company

“Venezuela” by Ohad Naharin
Starting at $34

Israel’s foremost contemporary dance company, revered worldwide for its cutting-edge work, visits Boulder for the first time. Artistic Director ...

More Dance events View all events

Wake

Loading
Jan 18-19, 2019

Wake

An MFA dance concert
Free and open to the public

MFA candidate Leah Woods creates a kinesthetic journey into the quantum cosmos and micro-universe of our unsustainable consumption. Using a kaleidosco...

Ethered and Tethered: A Liminal Space

Loading
Jan 25-26, 2019

Ethered and Tethered: A Liminal Space

An MFA dance concert
Free and open to the public

MFA candidate Danielle Garrison invites audiences into a performative laboratory that engages the body with news stories on grief. Through this galler...

Catapult

Loading
Feb 7-10, 2019

Catapult

A BFA dance concert
Starting at $16

How are stories of women in warfare across cultures and time periods being told? Why do we predict the stories of people with mental disorders? What a...

Open Space

Loading
Feb 28-Mar 3, 2019

Open Space

Curated by CU Dance Connection
Starting at $16

Be moved by dance works that lilt, groove and tumble across a spectrum of styles in this student-produced and CU Dance Connection-curated series. Tic...

The Current

Loading
Apr 12-20, 2019

The Current

Dance works by faculty and guest artists
Starting at $18

Experience the dynamic works off CU Theatre & Dance Department's dance faculty and the Roser Guest Artist. From the micro-undulations of...