Alvin Ailey II rocked the souls of Oklahomans in a refreshing performance at the Seterean Theatre on the campus of OSU in Stillwater on October 15 at 8:00 p.m. A pre-performance lecture given by Troy Powell, the artistic director of Ailey II, was a welcoming treat to all. Mr. Powell gave a brief but informative history of Alvin Ailey the man, and his vision to form the now 55 year old New York based Alvin Ailey Dance Theatre, the Ailey school, and Ailey II. Participants of the free lecture had the opportunity to ask an array of questions and visualize the legacy of Alvin Ailey through the eyes of Mr. Powell who began his career with the Ailey school at the age of 9 and has been involved with the Alvin Ailey Dance Theatre company as a student, dancer, and now administrator; bringing the dream full circle.
Ailey II was created to provide a medium of instruction for dance students on their way to becoming professional dancers. The company has had the great fortune of grooming these dancers for the stage and teaching the business of the dance theatre while the students continue perfecting their craft. Ailey II has a total of 12 members; 6 men and 6 women.
Ailey II performed a number of works, each feeding the soul differently. The first – “Virtues”, choreographed in 2012 by Amy Hall Garner, was colorful in its lighting, music and choreography and invited the audience in to rest for awhile. You could feel the audience relax and sway to the music in time with the company dancers as they moved effortlessly across the stage. Soloist George Gentry owned the stage with Robert Moses 1998 “Doscongio”. Benoit-Swan Pouffer’s “Rusty” (2012), allowed the dancers to show their personality and gave the audience a glimpse of the choreography and rehearsal process, while the pure emotion of “Revelations”, choreographed by Mr. Ailey himself, fed the spirit and connected the audience through dance. To learn more about the Alvin Ailey Dance Theatre visit alvinailey.org