By:  Hal de Becker


During its current 22 city USA tour The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre will perform in only a few cities in the western part of the country and fortunately Las Vegas will be one of them.  The Smith Center hosts the company Saturday March 22nd at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday the 23rd at 2:00 p.m.     


The company has appeared in more than 65 countries and has been seen and enjoyed by over 18 million people.


One of the works being presented, ‘Chroma’, was commissioned by the prominent local patron of the arts, Elaine Wynn.  It was choreographed by Wayne McGregor and will be performed to orchestral arrangements of songs by the Grammy Award winning White Stripes.   


Mr. McGregor’s works have been performed by the Bolshoi Ballet, Joffrey Ballet, Paris Opera Ballet, Royal Danish Ballet and many other renowned companies.


Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater's Alicia Graf Mack.  Photo by Andrew Eccles

 ‘Chroma’ had its premiere with England’s Royal Ballet in 2006 and has since been performed by classical ballet companies worldwide.  However, this performance by Ailey American Dance Theatre will be the first time a contemporary troupe has been authorized to perform it.


Both TSC performances will feature the late Mr. Ailey’s beloved ‘Revelations’ choreographed in 1960 to spirituals and other music.  It is a vigorous and, even today, a highly innovative work and the one most closely identified with the choreographer.


Another dance legend is the hugely popular ‘Petite Mort’ choreographed in 1991 by Jiri Kylian.  This exquisite and extremely accessible piece, set to the slow movements of two Mozart piano concertos, is certain to please anyone who enjoys watching bodies engaged in beautiful movement.  


Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater's Yannick Lebrun.  Photo by Andrew Eccles

Also programmed is ‘Minus 16’ by Israeli choreographer Ohan Naharin.  It is set to a variety of accompaniments ranging from traditional Israeli music to techno.  It has been described in the New York Times as a “propulsive voluptuous spectacle.”  It also has a big surprise element that I won’t give away here.


Two other dances, ‘LIFT’ and ‘Style Humor, round out the Ailey engagement.


Programing and ticket information can be obtained at TSC: 702-749-2000. 


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