The Magic Of Alvin Ailey Comes To The Auditorium Theater

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in Alvin Ailey’s Revelations. PHOTO BY PAUL KOLNICK.
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in Alvin Ailey’s Revelations. PHOTO BY PAUL KOLNICK.

The Magic Of Alvin Ailey Comes To The Auditorium Theater

By Tia Carol Jones

The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater Company has been bringing its magic to audiences since 1958.

The reparatory company will present six performances April 17th through 21st at the Auditorium Theatre, located at 50 E. Ida B. Wells Drive.

For Vernard Gilmore, a native of Englewood, dance has always been a part of his life, from an early age. In high school, he got serious about dance. He has been part of the main company at Alvin Ailey since 1997 and spent two years in Ailey II from 1995-1996. Gilmore saw Revelations in high school, and it spoke to him. It said something to his spirit, it said something to his soul, and it made him want to be part of the Ailey Dance Company. He worked diligently toward getting into the company. Gilmore has been inspired by those who came before him in the company, their spirit and their tenacity.

Gilmore said audiences can expect a very well-rounded vision of at what the Ailey Dance Company is, with its distinctive Ailey classics, as well as its pieces from new choreographers.

“You get to sit back and come in out of the cold and into the heat of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and be entertained in a very good way,” Gilmore said.

Gilmore believes the reason for the dance company’s longevity is its ability to speak to the people. He said with works, like Revelations, there is a through line and transcendency through the work where people can see themselves. He said that is what can bring people closer together in community.

“The Universal language of dance is something where there is no barrier to it, everyone can understand it, everyone can see its authenticity. For me, that’s why it’s so impactful,” Gilmore said.

The Ailey Dance Company has reached out by going into communities and sharing dance with the people, encouraging them to get up and move. Gilmore said Ailey was really great about teaching other how to lead and was a great leader himself. Gilmore said it is inspiring to see someone like Ailey making strides, and sharing the Black experience through dance with the world.

Gilmore said the company is constantly changing and evolving. Throughout the years, music changes for pieces and the dancers in the company have been able to adapt. It is something they have to do in order to perform at the level they do.

“I always fall back on the words of Judith Jamison, hold on to the past, live in the present and reach fearlessly into the future. I think those are elements we have to continue to encourage throughout each generation that comes through the company,” Gilmore said. He added that you can’t understand where you are going when you don’t know where you come from.

Gilmore said the Alvin Ailey Dance Company continuously looks for opportunities to reach out and reach people. He hopes people will be changed after they see the performances. It always makes him feel good to meet someone who has never seen the company perform before and hear about their experience after their first time. He said there is a look those people have and it shows they have been changed forever by the experience.

“We want you to walk out of the theater different than how you came in,” he said.

For more information about the Alvin Ailey Dance Company’s performances at the Auditorium Theatre, visit https://tinyurl.com/yyfznjkw.


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