Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, for Zyzzyva

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in Alvin Ailey's Revelations. Photo by Manny Hernandez

The experience of attending an Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater performance is slightly different from that of most other dance company productions. The audience is more diverse both in age and race, and often treats the performance not as a spectacle to sit still and watch in reverent silence, but as a series of invitations and provocations, a sort of call-and-response with movements and shouts, spontaneous applause, and whistling. That was true the first time I saw them perform at New York’s venerable City Center, and even more so earlier this month at Zellerbach Hall, as part of the Cal Performances season. Even before the performance started, there was a buzz in the air—a joviality in the ticket line and loquaciousness among the already-seated that usually only precedes the performance of a particularly famous dancer, a Carlos Acosta or Sylvie Guillem. (continue reading)

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6 Responses to Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, for Zyzzyva

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