Young NY Night With Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater

On December 1st, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater held a performance specifically for those who were 21 to 30. Young NY Night was an effort by the dance company to engage the younger New York audience. All tickets were 25 dollars, which allowed people who may not always have a chance to see the company, a chance to see them preform. It was great to see so many young people engaged with the arts.

The night started with one of their new pieces this season “Deep.” Choreographed by Mauro Bigonzetti, the piece blends European, American and African cultures. The piece uses the music of Ibeyi, sisters who sing in both English and Yoruba. The piece was absolutely stunning. The movement was unique and seemed to challenge basic physics. The dancers moved freely around the stage with powerful yet fluid movements.

After a brief intermission, the company preformed “Awakening.” Current artistic director, Robert Battle, created the piece in 2015. He felt inspired by Alvin Ailey himself and his passing. The dancers are dressed in all white and go from smooth and controlled movement to chaotic and frantic movement. Lighting plays a large role in this piece, between the bright spotlights and backdrops.

Following “Awakening”, Rachel McLauren and Yannick Lebrun danced Judith Jamison’s “A Case of You.” The piece was restaged by Hope Boykin and Jamar Roberts this year. Using Joni Mitchell’s A Case of You, the dancers create a story of love and loss relatable to every member of the audience. Dramatic lifts take your breath away and longing looks bring tear to your eyes.

To end the night, the company preformed one of their most famous pieces, “Revelations.” The piece premiered in 1960 and still brings crowds to their feet. The piece was choreographed by Mr. Ailey himself and is a staple of the company. The piece is set to African spirituals, song-sermons and blues. Audiences sing along, cheer and celebrate the dancers as they define gravity. Seeing it for the first time was truly life changing.

The night was a truly joyful and soulful experience. I found myself holding my breath and crying from time to time. Their dancers are some of the strongest and most elegant dancers in the industry. I was so thankful to have a chance to see this beautiful company dance.