A Global Cultural Dance Experience

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Written by Michael Thomas- Caribbean Media Network

The Alvin Ailey Dance Company’s triumphant return to Atlanta, was another success. As a first time attendee of this spectacular production, I was indeed pleased with the overall composition, highlighting a variety of historical references, and sharp artistic dances. Our journey began with a moment in American history, chronicling the Harlem Renaissance. “Uptown”, a world premiere work, was commissioned by Judith Jamison, and choreographed and conceived by the magnificent 18-year company veteran Matthew Rushing. Legends like Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, Josephine Baker and their contemporaries come alive to the music of Fats Waller, Count Basie, Eubie Blake and many more. A flamboyant narrator captivates audiences on a journey of the daily lives and culture of Harlem in 1920, with each scene framed by photographs and artwork of the era projected by a an Victrola phonograph.

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, recognized by U.S. Congress as a vital, American Cultural Ambassador to the World,will inspire, enlighten and entertain audiences from February, through June in 20 U.S. cities, continuing the celebration of the legendary Judith Jamison 20th year as artistic director.

Director Judith Jamison and dancers

Director Judith Jamison and dancers

Jamison, who has guided the Ailey organization to new heights and into a permanent home in the nation’s largest building for dance, will kick off the tour with Aileys extraordinary artists on February 2nd at Washington, D.C.Kennedy Center. Performances across the country will continue through May 23rd with visits to Atlanta, GA; Berkeley, CA; Orange County, CA; New Orleans, LA; Chicago, IL; Miami, FL; Boston, MA; Newark, NJ and other cities, before a return to the Brooklyn Academy of Music from June 10th to 20th.

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The Global Culture- A highlight of the production, was the diversity of the dancers. This year’s team were comprised with dancers from all different backgrounds and demographics. One in particular was;  YUSHA-MARIE SORZANO (Miami, FL), who is originally from the Caribbean nation of Trinidad and Tobago. She received her primary dance training from New World School of the Arts, The Miami Conservatory, and Dance Theatre of Harlem. Ms. Sorzano is a graduate of the Ailey/Fordham B.F.A. Program in Dance and was a member of Ailey II in her junior year.  She performed with Nathan Trice/Rituals, TU Dance (Artistic Directors Uri Sands and Toni Pierce-Sands) and was a member of Complexions. Ms. Sorzano also performed with recording artists Destiny’s Child and Rihanna. She joined the company in 2007.

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Ms. Sorzano was electrifying in the “Uptown” set, showcasing her unique dance skills, while sharing the spot light with her fellow dancers.The team of dancers were professional and simply delightful to watch perform each unique number. If you missed this sensational production, please visit www.alvinailey.org for the tour dates. Alvin Ailey gets two “AA”, much like the name, for its exceptional production. This tour should be taken on the global stage, for its craftsmanship, diversity, and outstanding execution of its signature pieces. Alvin Ailey Dance Company, the world awaits your arrival to the global stage, to introduce this timeless dance production.

C.M.N.

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