You know something is up when, on the Friday night the last weekend before Christmas, “Revelations” is not the peak of an Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater performance at City Center. This was not the fault of “Revelations,” which still galvanized the sold-out crowd. But it couldn’t hold a candle to the opener: Ailey’s “Night Creature,” which was brilliantly led by Sarah Daley-Perdomo and danced in front of the Future of Jazz Orchestra, curated by Jazz at Lincoln Center. Throughout the first half of the evening, the pairing of the live band with some of Ailey’s best pieces to Duke Ellington made for a momentous occasion. It felt like a gala; the ever-chummy Artistic Director Robert Battle even appeared at a podium for pre-show introductions—naturally, he started his speech by doing jazz hands. Battle’s own “For Four” also got the live-music treatment, and it was about a thousand times better with its Wynton Marsalis score played onstage too.
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in Alvin Ailey's “Night Creature.” Photograph by Christopher Duggan
The son of a painter and a set designer, director/choreographer Jean-Christophe Maillot was, it seems, destined to have a life in the theater. Born and raised in Tours, in central France, in 1960, he studied dance and piano at the Conservatoire Nacional de Région de Tours before joining the Rosella Hightower International School of Dance in Cannes.Continue Reading
One would think that a dance inspired by the events of the January 6 insurrection—yes, a dance!—would not be the ideal stuff of theater, but the eight members of Laurie Sefton Creates (formerly Clairobscur Dance Company), succeeded in giving life to Sefton’s premiere “Herd. Person?”, while the dance, itself, was occasionally problematic.Continue Reading