As a young child, the movement of a ballerina mesmerized me. The style, elegance, and grace of movement would inspire me to dance. It should not be surprising that when given the choice of what I wanted for Christmas that I would request tickets to the ballet. The Alvin Ailey Company is world renowned for their unique and modern interpretation of ballet. I was excited to witness the fusion between modern movement, hip-hop, and classical ballet.
The first session was punctuated by the sound of a lone drum. I do not know if it was the fact that I had just consumed a three-course meal or that the purpose of the jerky movements were unclear but I just simply did not get it. I turned to one of my companions and the look I received indicated that I was not alone in that assertion. The dancers were very technical but my confusion could not allow me to enjoy the experience. Several patrons behind me commented on how they felt the flaw might have been the drum music because the purpose of the movement was not clear.
The next piece was titled Journey. One female dancer took center stage. The four-piece orchestra located on stage began to play such lovely melodies. The dancer swayed, moved, and contorted to the musical genius of the players. The costume she wore accentuated the fluidity of her extensions. The scene left me on the edge of my seat and I decided that it was a great indicator as to the direction of the rest of the performance.
The next selection revealed an urban set with a religious feel. The eclectic hip-hop movements made a cohesive connection to traditional ballet moves. The constant energy was contagious and the stamina required by the dancers was to be admired. The highlights of this performance include the soul wrenching connection of the lead dancer and his connection to home. The audience could reference whatever version of home appealed but the ultimate understanding between a man and his or her faith is implied.
The show ended with a playful performance that included members of the audience. I urge you to visit the New York City Center the next time you are in New York City and show your support for the arts. I left feeling inspired and I hope that a glimpse into the talent these individuals demonstrated leaves you inspired.