Ailey Gala Night!

Well The RED WON! It seems that I was on trend as red was the color of the evening, even my hostess Lynne Greenberg wore red (and we did not talk about it!!) Great minds think alike I suppose! I have to give a great shout out and thank you to Peter Speliopoulos and Irene Pappas at Donna Karan and April Megan for the  Valerie Egee jewelry.

Here we are upon arrival at City Center.

I have to say that I was so excited (dress aside) to attend the inaugural season of the new Artistic Director of the Alvin American Dance Theater, Robert Battle. I was highly impressed by the whole evening, I thought that Mr. Battle took a page from Judith Jamison’s hosting book and was warm familiar, jocular and “down home”. He was relaxed and seemed to be authentically enjoying himself. The dance that evening was also highly impressive, and not only in the way that is usually is, but due to Battle’s choice of presenting Paul Taylor’s Ardent Court, a stylistic departure, he seemed to make a statement, “Expect something new!”. Without going into a full on review (to come later once I see a few more programs) I thought that it was danced beautifully, it was technically clean, and stylistically on point, (true it needs to settle, they need to become more comfortable and confident in moving that way) but as a departure from the “expected” Ailey aesthetic it was wonderful to watch (Rachel Mclaren is the new it girl! divine absolutely divine). The second offering of the the evening was a solo from Love Stories (the Jamison Section ) danced by Alicia Graf Mack who is  back with the company (the woman has nine Lives!) and R&B singer John Legend accompanied her playing and singing Stevie Wonder’s “If it’ s Magic”. Where she was lovely and he was great, there was something off in the pairing, is was a bit nonsensical, perhaps because the costuming for Love stories is sporty in an Eighties type of way, tights, legwarmers and a midriff top. Out of context with subtle lighting, a grand piano and an R&B crooner, is didn’t work, perhaps they if they had  put Graf Mack in a dress, or something a bit more romantic for the occasion it might have gelled…

You have not lived until you have seen Supermodel- and I mean SUPER model Iman up close, she is truly flawless it is hard to believe that her exquisite bone structure was once compromised.  She, with passion and great amounts of sensuality introduced the third piece, Prelude to a Kiss (Lar Lubovitch) which was danced with exquisitely artistry by the consistent duo of Clifton Brown and Lind Celeste Sims. Their performance was just about as sensuous and delicious as the introduction, which is saying a lot. Then of course there was Revelations (with 50). Where I loved the idea of using all the ages and levels of the School, Ailey II and the First Company (there was the tiniest little Indian girl in the brown section and Wade in The Water precession that I think should tour with them! adorable) The only thing I don’t care for in this version is the “I Want to be Ready” triad. It forces each soloist to hold back a little in order be together. I feel them all a bit stifled. Maybe if it were more of a dialogue, with each man doing a section, telling their portion of the same story then coming together in the end…

Either way Rev, is Rev, no matter how many times you see it, or how many people are in it, you have to enter and take the journey. It was a beautiful night, I am so pleased for  Robert Battle all of the new dancers and the vets!!! I am so looking forward to seeing more this season and am excited for what is to come!!!

A big hearty thank you to Lynne, Eric and Ben for the invite, we had a blast!!!!