Last updated: July 25. 2013 11:19AM - 121 Views
Brenda Gibson



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Shawnee State University’s Vern Riffe Center for the Arts and the Southern Ohio Performing Arts Association present Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, one of the world’s most popular dance companies, at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 2, sponsored by the Richard D. Marting Foundation.


The dance theater has embarked on a 21-city U.S. tour in January and Shawnee State University’s Vern Riffe Center for the Arts is one of stops on the tour


Following record-breaking performances in New York City that brought full houses to their feet, Ailey’s second season led by Artistic Director Robert Battle, will move audiences in major cities across the country including Portsmouth along with Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, Boston, and Miami, among others.


From ballet and modern to jazz and African dance rhythms, the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater inspires a universal celebration of the human spirit using the African-American cultural experience and the American modern dance tradition.


Several new choreographed dances along with encores of last season’s favorites highlight the performers’ skills and talents.


“Another Night,” innovatively fuses the many dynamic facets of American dance and showcases the artistry and versatility of the Ailey dancers.


“Petite Mort,” a ballet of breathtaking sensuality and visual surprises, marks the first time a work by renowned European choreographer Jiří Kylián, appears in the Ailey repertory set to two of Mozart’s most popular piano concertos with fencing foils and elaborate ball gowns in an unforgettable duel featuring six couples.


“From Before,” blends the rhythms of African dance with Caribbean influences and Battle’s “Strange Humors” with strings and African drum pits two men against each other in an intense dance. Ronald K. Brown’s landmark work “Grace” has returned to the repertory in a rapturous, spiritually-charged new production infused with Brown’s signature blend of modern dance and West African idioms.


“I’m thrilled to be further expanding Ailey’s diverse repertory this season with new voices and talented contemporary choreographers that showcase the depth and breadth of the dancers’ artistry,” Battle said.


Tickets are $36 and $38 with discounts for seniors and students and may be purchased at the McKinley Box Office in the Vern Riffe Center for the Arts at Shawnee State University from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, online at Ticketmaster.com or any Ticketmaster Outlet, or by calling 740-351-3600. For more information, go to http://www.sopaa.org.


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