A Saturday matinee at Ailey is a marvelous mix of kids and adults in holiday finery and some of the best dancers on the planet going all out to give their guests a good time.
In the one brand-new work this season, "Another Night," young dance-maker Kyle Abraham sets 10 hot movers in motion, a kind of posse out on the town in Naoko Nagata's bright clothes, celebrating to Dizzy Gillespie's percussive "A Night in Tunisia," performed by Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers. Standouts here are long-limbed Jamar Roberts, who partners beautiful Jacqueline Green, and Antonio Douthit, the class clown who wanders onstage eating chips and blithely invites audience members to join the party. Fifteen minutes long, it sets a lively tone that lasts for the whole show.
A brief 1999 solo by artistic director Robert Battle, "Takademe," sets Kanji Segawa in rapid motion to Sheila Chandra's kathak-like rhythms, and enthralls the many children in the crowd. Performed by a Japanese man to South Asian music, it exemplifies the eclectic repertory Battle is developing for the troupe he took over last year.
New to the company is Jiri Kylian's "Petite Mort," handsome in stand-alone gowns and corset-like trunks that both confine the dancers' extraordinary bodies and lend an air of mischievous sexuality. Made in 1991 to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Mozart's death, it reveals the balletic side of the company's strength.
It wouldn't be an Ailey show without the 1960 "Revelations," Alvin's masterwork, here augmented with students from the Ailey school and members of the second company, who bring the crowd to its feet.
If you go
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
Through Dec. 30
135 W. 55th St.