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Ailey II stops in Omaha October 18 as part of its 24-city world tour

Sep 14, 2016, 16:52 PM by Kelly Bartnick

Artistic director Troy Powell commissions four world premieres for performance at the Orpheum Theater 

OMAHA, Neb. (September 13, 2016) – The talented dancers of Ailey II bring their strength, agility and off-the-charts-energy to Omaha’s Orpheum Theater stage Tuesday, October 18, 2016. This performance is part of Omaha Performing Arts’ Dance Seriesand sponsored by Bank of the West with hospitality sponsor Hotel Deco. Tickets start at $20 for the 7:30 PM performance and are available at TicketOmaha.com or the box office located inside the Holland Performing Arts Center, 1200 Douglas Street.

The tour will take the superb 12-member ensemble to more than 20 cities across the U.S. the Bahamas, Germany and France before returning home for its annual New York season, taking place for the first time at NYU’s Skirball Center for the Performing Arts from March 29 – April 2.   

Ailey II is universally renowned for merging the spirit and energy of the country's best young dance talent with the passion and creative vision of today's most outstanding emerging choreographers. Ailey II is one of the most popular dance companies in the country, combining a rigorous touring schedule with extensive community outreach programs.  In his fifth year leading the company, Artistic Director Troy Powell announces four dynamic new commissions.

“I am excited to introduce audiences to the four outstanding premieres by talented rising choreographers that we’ve welcomed into the repertory,” said Troy Powell. “These diverse and powerful new works – along with the eight returning favorites – showcase the strength, grace, and versatility of these gifted young dancers.”

Four New Premieres

  • Mieka - In the colorful duet Meika, set to music by Max Richter and Isaac Albéniz, French choreographer Leila Da Rocha uses dance to counter the unrest caused by barbarism and violence. Building on the body’s natural breathing rhythms, her movement takes on the push-pull of opposing energies to ultimately reach a message of peace.
  • Circular - Princess Grace Award-winning choreographer Jae Man Joo’s Circular is a heartfelt conversation through movement. The Korean-born Joo’s distinctive choreographic style – a blend of classical and contemporary ballet – is showcased in this large ensemble work that captures the full circle of human emotions. The melodic soundscape is by a diverse group of composers including Denisov and Handel. 
  • Sketches of Flames - Bridget L. Moore fuses flamenco influences with her African-American and contemporary aesthetic to create a rapturous ensemble dance. Set to a series of passionate folk songs and drawing upon the writings of Federico García Lorca and others, each section of this eight-part work depicts a different facet of the joys and sorrows of love.
  • Stream of Consciousness – by former Ailey company member Marcus Jarrell Willis, gives physical life to our inner thoughts. Willis weaves six simple gestures into “the stream,” the tumultuous monologue within each person’s mind. Set to a contemporary reimagining of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons by Max Richter, this work echoes the tension and poignancy of the music’s ever-changing tides.

This season, six new dancers – Tara Bellardini, Khalia Campbell, Yazzmeen Laidler, Jessica Amber Pinkett, Martell Ruffin, and Christopher R. Wilson – join the six returning members – Lloyd A. Boyd III, Gabriel Hyman, Jacob Lewis, Jacoby Pruitt, Courtney Celeste Spears, and Terri Ayanna Wright.

In addition to Powell’s four new commissions, Ailey II’s touring repertory will include Gêmeos by Jamar Roberts, I Am The Road by Kyle “JustSole” Clark, In & Out by Jean Emile, Something Tangible by Ray Mercer, Streams by Alvin Ailey, and Takademe and The Hunt  by Robert Battle. For more information, visit www.alvinailey.org or omahaperformingarts.org.

Local dancers will have an opportunity to meet with the performers in a special master class leading up to the October 18 performance. Intermediate and advanced modern dancers can register online for the free. The class runs from 6:00 PM to 7:30 PM. Registration Information.

Media Resources:
Please visit pressroom.alvinailey.org for bios, hi-res downloadable photos and b-roll, and Ailey II’s electronic press kit.