Monday, February 27, 2006

Alvin Ailey Knows Love

The Alvin Ailey Dance Theater performed at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion this past week. It's my fourth time watching this group, and they simply lift my spirit each time. LA Times staff writer Lewis Segal wrote a negative review of the dance company in last Friday's paper, calling the new material an "overkill".

Lewis is so so wrong. What he describes as "...a blur of lighting and costume changes, as well as hard-sell dance riffs galore, that no concept or theme survived..." is what I consider a successful integration of modern and contemporary urban dance. I was so excited to see classic ballet techinques infuse with everyday dance club moves, making normal dance steps seem so stunningly unique and, conversely, making professional modern dance techniques seem accessible.

Lewis continues to describe the performance as " aggressive fusillade of technique, often right in the audience's teeth, Broadway style. And all that love stuff coming out of the loudspeakers soon seemed a self-righteous, manipulative pretext for hot but empty showpiece dancing." But isn't love an aggressive fusillade of techniques, right-in-your teeth, Broadway style? Far from empty, that's how I like my lovin'.

In celebration of African American hertiage month, the dance troupe dedicated their week's performances to Coretta Scott King.

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