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Ailey Dance Ensemble Performs Tonight At Nic

One of the best-known modern dance companies in America - the Alvin Ailey Repertory Ensemble - will perform tonight at North Idaho College’s Boswell Auditorium in Coeur d’Alene.

Choreographer Alvin Ailey created the performance company in 1974 to provide an opportunity for the most talented students at his American Dance Center in New York to perform.

The company tours nationally and draws rave reviews from dance critics. When the ensemble performed before sold out houses in New York, the New York Times dance critic Jennifer Dunning said of the event: “By now the vibrancy and accomplished dancing of the Alvin Ailey Repertory Ensemble should come as no surprise. But the group outdid itself in a performance that stood out for its artistry and sophistication.”

The company will perform three dances tonight: “Escapades,” “In The Rain Forest” and “Isba.”

The newest of the repertoire, “In The Rain Forest” was premiered in Boise Wednesday night. Choreographer Kathryn Posin set the dance to music by Nana Vasconcelos and Teese Gohl. The instruments used are made on the shells, seeds, branches, hoofs and skins of the plants and animals of the rain forest. The music combines these elements with state-of-the-art music technology. Vasconcelos is among the world’s foremost players of the stringed berimbau.

“Ailey choreographed “Isba” in 1983, set to the music “Autumn” by Windham Hill pianist George Winston. Ailey describes the dance as a sweeping, romantic ballet centered around the courtship and marriage of a regal couple in white. The story contains strong African tribal influences.

“Escapades,” also choreographed by Ailey, is set to music by Max Roach. It was created in 1983 for the Aterbello Reggio Emilia of Italy and revived during a Alvin Ailey Repertory Ensemble national tour two years ago. In this dance, duets and trios surround the blossoming relationship of the main couple as they move through the sultry jazz score by Max Roach.

xxxx Tickets: $14 and $16, $7 and $8 for students high school age or under.

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