Concert Review: Ailey II presented by Rockford Coronado Concert Association

Ailey II
The Rock River Times

By Edith McCauley

Ailey II, the touring company of the Alvin Ailey Dance Company, gave a performance of unmatched quality Oct. 19, receiving ovations from the audience at the Coronado Theatre. It was a time of special memories for me. My dear Julian and I had seen Ailey’s company so many times that every moment was special.

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, founded by the amazing Alvin Ailey, became a forerunner of the many black dance companies that provided opportunities for young black dancers who had previously found a chance to perform at black night clubs. After integration, these venues no longer existed.

The evening’s performance began with “Echoes,” choreographed by Thang Dao, followed by “Virtues,” choreographed by Amy Hall Garner. The audience literally cheered for the entire company. Ailey II’s Artistic Director, Troy Powell, is only the second person to lead the company since its inception in 1974. Sylvia Waters is the Artistic Director Emerita, and led the company for 38 years. She leads the Ailey Legacy Residency, a lecture, technique and repertory program for college-level students that looks definitively into the history and creative heritage of Alvin Ailey.

As an audience, we were privileged to experience the highlight of Ailey’s amazing choreography, “Revelation,” created in 1960 and incorporating the music of traditional black composers. Highlights included “I Been Buked,” “Wade in the Water,” “Sinner Man,” “The Day Is Past and Gone” and the spectacular finale, “Rocka My Soul in the Bosom of Abraham.” There are few dance performances that so arouse an audience. The curtain calls gave us all the chance to show our appreciation to this young company. For many, it is their first or second season with Ailey II, and my admiration for their amazing talent cannot be more enthusiastic.