Dance preview: Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater

The popular American company returns to the UK with more crowd-pleasing dance

Dance preview: Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater

Paul Kolnik

Sance fans are often vocal with their appreciation, but nobody gets a response quite like Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. Every few years, when the company visits the UK as part of a Dance Consortium tour, it attracts both hardcore fans and newcomers – both of whom throw a lot of love at the stage.

A dancer with the Ailey company for 21 years, Linda Celeste Sims has had her fair share of curtain calls, and knows one of the reasons the applause is so boisterous – Revelations.

Created in 1960 by the company's founder, Alvin Ailey, and set to traditional African-American gospel songs, the work closes every performance on tour.

'It's such a powerful work, the music is so touching and the movement speaks for itself,' says Sims. 'We're the only company who does it, so if we go back to a theatre after a couple of years and we don't do Revelations, people get kind of upset.'

The jewel in the Ailey company crown Revelations may be, but a whole host of other treasures are headed our way. The tango-inspired Piazzolla Caldera by dance luminary Paul Taylor, Christopher Wheeldon's gentle After the Rain Pas de Deux and Exodus by hip hop choreographer Rennie Harris are all on the bill, along with two works by Ailey regular Ronald K Brown – crowd-pleasers all.

'Because we bring a little bit of everything, we find our shows really change people who have a certain idea of what dance is, and think it can be kind of boring,' says Sims. 'So people who don't even like to go to the theatre love it, which is so cool.'

Edinburgh Festival Theatre, Tue 18 & Wed 19 Oct.

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater

The prestigious American dance company returns with a series of new works.


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