8pm showing 3/11/09
Ailey II, Wells Fargo Center for the Arts
Modern dance. I love dance but even modern dance can be a tough pill to swallow if one’s not in the right mood. But the Ailey II troupe definitely packs in the best as quickly as possible. I saw another variation of Alvin Ailey many years ago at the same venue but I really didn’t care for that production. I just didn’t connect and kept wishing it would end. This version wisely had a “pause” and two intermissions. Plenty of time for us to appreciate the numbers yet not feel trapped by the never-ending darkness.
There was one piece in particular where a young woman (dancer Megan Jakel) couldn’t leave her man alone, just wouldn’t be dragged away from him. She would run at him and cling to him as if her whole body were velcro. A piece that really seemed to capture an issue that is prevalent right now. I say, “If he doesn’t want you, stop fighting it.” It had strange parallels to the current social discussion of dating violence, a la Rihanna and Chris Brown. The weird thing is, as this woman couldn’t and wouldn’t let go (she grasped onto his legs like a petulant child), it became comical and obvious that her choice was ridiculous. It made me glad that a large part of the audience was teenage girls. I laughed but looking back I wonder what the thought process was for all those impressionable females in the audience.
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