The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater is going on tour in Israel in September. The tour will be launched in Jerusalem on September 29 and will then move on to The Performing Arts Center in Tel Aviv.
The ensemble will premiere ‘Home’ the work of choreographer and dancer Lorenzo Harris. The piece is set to a soul-lifting score of gospel house music and inspired by the stories of people living with or affected by HIV.
The group first premiered the work on New York on International AIDS Day, exactly 22 years after the dance company’s founder died from the disease.
“Harris takes a conceptual approach to hip-hop,” said Robert Battle, the company’s new artistic director. “He is bringing a unique perspective to stories that absolutely have to be told, and that ought to be realized in a dance vocabulary that comes from a new generation,” he added.
Their current tour will see the Alvin Ailey Dance Theater perform the work of American choreographer Paul Taylor for the first time. Arden Court by Taylor was created 30 years agoand is mainly performed by the choreographer’s own group. Another piece which will be premiered is Robert Battle’s Takademe.
Takademe was created in 1999; the complex, tightly woven rhythms of Indian Kathak dance are deconstructed and abstracted in this percussive, fast-paced work, where clear shapes and propulsive jumps mimic the vocalized rhythmic syllables of Sheila Chandra’s jazzy score.
“Takademe is near and dear to me as one of my first creations. It’s a work I made in the tiny living room of my old apartment in Queens,” Battle noted.
“As I begin as Artistic Director, I want to acknowledge my journey, look back on what I did with so little and recognize having so very much now. Also, the work has a sense of humor, and some of my other works that have been done at Ailey were in a more serious vein. I wanted to share another aspect of myself with the Ailey audience,” he added.
Another piece which will be presented in Israel for the first time is Hunt which Battle created before he became artistic director of the ensemble.
The visit to Israel is part of a global tour which will end Battle’s first year as artistic director. Battle succeeded legendary dancer Judith Jamison as Artistic Director. Jamison had served as Ailey’s right hand. The group will arrive in Israel after touring in Geneva, Barcelona and Copenhagen.