Dance Companies

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Modern Dance Company

The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater (AAADT) is a modern dance company based in New York, New York. It was founded in 1958 by choreographer and dancer Alvin Ailey. It is made up of 32 dancers, led by artistic director Robert Battle and associate artistic director Masazumi Chaya. Founder Alvin Ailey created more than 79 dances for his company during his tenure; he also maintained, however, that the company was not solely a repository for his choreography. Hence AAADT has a repertory of more than 200 works by more than 70 choreographers, including such choreographers as Ulysses Dove, Karole Armitage, George Faison, Uri Sands, Elisa Monte, Talley Beatty, Katherine Dunham and Twyla Tharp (whose work The Golden Section, excerpted from her larger ballet, The Catherine Wheel, entered AAADT's repertory in 2006). The company's popularity comes from its theatrical, extroverted style of dancers with strong personalities and muscular skill. However, the company keeps Alvin Ailey's works, including Revelations (1960), Night Creature (1974) and Cry (1971), in continuous performance. Memoria was one of Alvin Ailey's balletic pieces, with long lines and a clear technical style different from his usual jazz character style of swirling patters, strong, driving arm movements, huge jumps, and thrusting steps. This dance was later adopted into the repertory of the Royal Danish Ballet. Cry is a three-part, 20-minute solo created for Judith Jamison. It was meant to pay homage to all Black women, and can be seen as a journey from degradation to pride, defiance, and survival. Ailey’s historic return to Lincoln Center after 13 years is the culmination of Artistic Director Robert Battle’s second season.

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