Dance: Alvin Ailey program is ‘All New’

Artistic Director Robert Battle, seen here at the Opening Night Gala for the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, is behind the company's "All New" program. Credit: Christopher Duggan
Artistic Director Robert Battle, seen here at the Opening Night Gala for the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, is behind the company’s “All New” program.
Credit: Christopher Duggan

In a fresh evening of dance, Robert Battle breathes new life into Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater with works by Wayne McGregor, Bill T. Jones and Azure Barton. The “All New” program – ending Jan. 2 – showcases the strength, power and humanity of the charismatic performers in master works by these three talented choreographers.

Wayne McGregor’s “Chroma,” created in 2006 for London’s Royal Ballet, weaves 10 dancers in and out of a massive angular set (designed by John Pawson) with striking moments of stillness and large sweeping movements of luscious partnering and nuanced undulation. Chroma is bold in its voluminous score and brassy white exterior yet incorporates moments of subtle shift and detail. With an epic score by Jack White (of the White Stripes) and Joby Talbot, this contemporary ballet deals with gender and power as the movers support each other in a variety of contexts. Men and women wear tiny garments by Moritz Junge that avoid a clear gender distinction as the British choreographer offers unexpected physical patterning that alternates between tender and fierce, present and absent.

The stark and ferocious performance of Chroma shifts entirely as Bill T. Jones’ “D-Man in the Waters (Part I)” takes the stage. This classic modern dance masterpiece was created in 1989 as a memorial to Demian Acquavella, beloved company member of the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company. “D-Man” references trust and support in its rich embodiment of Mendelssohn’s Octet for Strings. It is truly refreshing to watch the fierceness of the Ailey transform into hope and whimsy through gentle acknowledgement of each other; in this, Megan Jakel shines. With a tilt of the head, a tender embrace or a radiating smile from across the space, they create a moving experience filled with spirit and humanity. City Center resounds with the programmatic note: “In a dream you saw the way to survive and you were full of joy.”

The evening concludes with the world premiere of “LIFT” by Azure Barton, a powerful work of ritual with original percussive sound by Curtis Macdonald that celebrates the power of flight against the earthly rawness of a human body. Barton’s strength of exposing inherent vulnerabilities within a collective presides over this masterfully crafted work, displaying the strong individuality of each performer in a series of vignettes of all male, all female and variations of the like. The hazy environment activates our focus as she heightens our attention to the strength of the body. In a tender duet between a man of menacing height and a miniscule woman, she presses her face into his chest and we become aware of vulnerability in this action. They flap their wings and find a physical expression of rhythm. We understand images of unity and are left breathless, ready for more.


Mutant worms stay sober, even on alcohol

U.S. researchers have developed "mutant worms" that do not get drunk by alcohol, a breakthrough that could lead to new treatment for people trying to quit drinking


K-9 nose helps capture $150K in cocaine at…

A furry, four-legged security agent helped authorities stop an illegal cocaine shipment from sneaking past JFK customs.


Minnesota man asked to leave Southwest flight after…

A man and his two sons were asked to leave a Southwest Airlines flight after the man sent a tweet complaining about being treated rudely by a gate agent.


Man sues hospital after surprise penis amputation

An Alabama man who went in to a hospital last month for a circumcision awoke after surgery to find his penis had been amputated, his lawyer said on Thursday.


Review: Brett Ratner's big 'Hercules' movie is small…

The latest "Hercules," starring Dwayne Johnson as the half-god beefcake of Greek myth, strips its hero and tale of most of its fantastical elements.


Scientists recreate world's smallest Monet copy

Scientists have reproduced a famous Impressionist painting using nano-printing, to create what has been described as the world's smallest work of art. Reworked at the…


Jerry Seinfeld is ambidextrous, and other Reddit AMA…

See some of the weirder highlights of Jerry Seinfeld's recent Reddit AMA.

Going Out

Grab a pedestrian and start dancing at What…

As a New Yorker, I’ve mastered the art of focusing my gaze straight ahead. Though it occasionally piques my interest, the absurdities that play out…


2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player…

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player rankings

U.S. Soccer

NYCFC announce signing of Frank Lampard

The tease of a big signing Thursday by new MLS side NYCFC ended up being one rumored for weeks. England midfielder Frank Lampard agreed to…


NBA great LeBron James sends 800 cupcake apologies…

By Kim PalmerCLEVELAND (Reuters) - NBA star LeBron James, whose recent return to the Cleveland Cavaliers in his home state of Ohio sparked a frenzy…


Jerry Reese confident with Giants, skipping countdown clocks…

Last year, Giants GM Jerry Reese installed a countdown clock in the locker room to inspire Big Blue to play in their own stadium for Super Bowl XLVIII.


Forget Wi-Fi: Li-Fi could be the future

Li-Fi technology – developed by Mexican company Sisoft – is wireless internet connectivity using specialized LED light.


Weather app Climendo might be the most accurate…

The wait for a truly accurate weather forecast could finally be over thanks to a nifty new app called Climendo.


Napkin Table puts focus off the phone and…

Michael Jan, a design student at Tunghai University in Taiwan, has invented a serviette-picnic blanket hybrid called the Napkin Table.


Essie's new Color Boutique

Essie launches high-tech kiosks at major airports and malls across the country.