GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

Lifestyle

February 1, 2013

Expressions of dance

Lectures offer glimpse into choreographer Alvin Ailey's life, career

Dance is more than a series of movements that follow a beat.

In the hands of a great choreographer like Alvin Ailey, dance is a powerful language in which the human body expresses a range of emotions and ideas.

Ailey’s unique style of dance will be on display this weekend at Salem State and Endicott College, where Sylvia Waters of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater will lead several programs.

Workshops, which are limited to students from the two schools, will share Ailey’s techniques and introduce some of his famous dances.

But in two lectures on three successive days that are open to the public, Waters will put Ailey’s career in perspective.

“The first one basically is Mr. Ailey’s background, from his early beginnings, and the genesis of a lifelong vision,” Waters said. “The second one is a chronicle of his work, his process, how the company runs.”

“All of this is from my perspective, having been with the company for as long as I have,” she said. “You get some of the backstory of the history.”

Waters’ lectures will include archival footage of interviews with Ailey, who died in 1989, and taped performances of his dances.

She will also discuss Ailey’s collaborations with great jazz musicians, from Duke Ellington and Max Roach to Charlie Mingus.

Waters joined Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in 1968. She toured with the company until 1974, when Ailey chose her to lead Alvin Ailey II, a group of dancers who have attended the Alvin Ailey School and who participate in educational programs before going on to professional careers.

A member of Alvin Ailey II will teach students Horton Technique, a vocabulary of dance movements invented by Ailey’s mentor, Lester Horton.

“Horton is a dance discipline, and that’s where he started,” Waters said. “From that experience, Alvin culled his whole ideology about dance.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Lifestyle

Your news, your way
Pictures of the Week
Comments Tracker
AP Entertainment Videos
Wendy Williams Sees Turning 50 As Fabulous Garth Brooks to Offer Digital Music for 1st Time Cher Lloyd Sets Off Sirens 'Game of Thrones' Leads Emmy Nominees ShowBiz Minute: Bieber, Thicke, Kardashian Pudsey: the Canine Movie Star Kim Kardashian Hits Up Valentino Show in Paris 'Apes' Stars Talk Motion Capture, 'Felicity' "Hotwives" Spoofs Reality TV Weaver Reprises Ripley Role for 'Alien' Game Graham Nash on Politics, Young People Chris Colfer Upset Over Twitter Hacking Linda Perry to 'Make or Break' New Talent on VH1 Raw: Madonna Arrives for Jury Duty, Briefly Meet the Man Behind the 'Apes' Sundays Get 'Reckless' on CBS 'Pretty Little Liars' Celebrate 100th Episode 'Bachelor' 'Villain' Gets the Last Word Raw: 20th Essence Fest Begins in New Orleans War Hero, Olympian Zamperini Dies at 97