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Found 6 results

  1. DOGWOOF ANNOUNCES 7TH JANUARY UK & IRISH THEATRICAL RELEASE DATE FOR AILEY A FILM BY JAMILA WIGNOT ‘A hypnotic, immersive portrait’ INDIEWIRE ‘Wignot layers images, video and - most important - voice-overs from Ailey to create a portrait that feels as poetic and nuanced as choreography itself’ NEW YORK TIMES Alvin Ailey was a visionary artist who found salvation through dance. Directed by Jamila Wignot, the celebrated documentary is an immersive profile of ground-breaking and influential choreographer Alvin Ailey, founder of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. AILEY captures the brilliant and enigmatic man who, when confronted by a world that refused to embrace him, was determined to build one that would. Ailey is a sensorial, archival-rich story that traces the full contours of this extraordinary artist’s biography and connects his past to our present with an intimate glimpse into the Ailey studios today, where we follow innovative hip-hop choreographer Rennie Harris as he conceives a new dance inspired by Ailey’s life. Using never-before-heard audio interviews recorded in the last year of his life, we experience Ailey’s astonishing journey in his words. Ailey is released in UK & Irish cinemas 7th January 2022 Certificate TBC / Running time 90 Minutes AileyFilm.co.uk About Dogwoof Founded in 2003 by Andy Whittaker, Dogwoof is a London-based, documentary film company integrating production, sales, and UK theatrical distribution. Dogwoof has so far released 28 Oscar®-nominated documentaries, with four wins and an additional three BAFTA winners; notable titles include Oscar®-winning and BAFTA-winning Free Solo (the UK's highest grossing documentary of 2018), Oscar®-nominated RBG, BAFTA-winning The Act of Killing and Blackfish. Recent releases have included 2021 double-Oscar® nominated and BAFTA nominated Collective; 2021 Oscar® nominated The Mole Agent (also represented by Dogwoof Sales); double Oscar®-nominated Honeyland, and BAFTA-nominated Apollo 11(the UK’s highest grossing doc of 2019). Dogwoof premiered six projects in Sundance 2021; Playing with Sharks (a Dogwoof /TDog Production), Sabaya (winner of the World Documentary Directing prize), Philly D.A., Captains of Zaatari, Seeds of Deceit, and Ailey. Dogwoof's TDog production investment fund has currently five features and two series currently in production; the fund is focused on feature docs, docu-series, and remake rights, gearing up the company towards vertical integration.
  2. I’ve just seen that the TodayTix App has a 24 hour offer of stalls and first circle tickets from £15 for all 3 Alvin Ailey programmes at Sadlers Wells for the rest of the run.
  3. Details here: http://www.danceconsortium.com/touring/alvin-ailey-american-dance-theater-2016/ 6th September - 19th October Alhambra Theatre Bradford Birmingham Hippodrome Festival Theatre Edinburgh Marlowe Theatre Canterbury Mayflower Theatre Southampton Sadler’s Wells London The Lowry Salford Quays Theatre Royal and Royal Concert Hall Nottingham with Dance 4 Theatre Royal Plymouth Wales Millennium Centre Cardiff
  4. I was back in Nice at the weekend for the current triple bill of Ballet Nice Mediterranee, which included the premiere in France of Liam Scarlett’s Vespertine. I saw the performances on Saturday evening and on Sunday afternoon. The programme started with Sinfonietta by Jiri Kylian. Sinfonietta was part of the first programme that I ever attended at the ROH, back in 2006, and it was a joy to see it again. In particular the entry of the men at the beginning, one by one, and each then performing the same choreography, the duets of grands jetes in rectangles across the stage, and the closing section with couples performing higher and higher lifts diagonally across the stage. It’s that energetic, joyful, celebratory atmosphere that captivated me, and also the backcloth which reminded me of a rural coastal area in the UK or in Ireland. In watching the duets with their grands jetes, I was thunderstruck by a dancer whom I hadn’t seen before. His lines, his precision, the clarity of his dancing, the way he moved between the jumps and turns completely got me. I was properly awestruck. A check in the programme book during the interval showed Alessandro Audisio as name. A search on the web later that night showed that he graduated from the RBS in 2014 and then joined the Romanian National Ballet. So no wonder! He did the RBS proud, he will be a great asset for the company in Nice (yes, I am still awestruck!), and I look forward to seeing more of him in future seasons. Scarlett created Vespertine with music by Arcangelo Corelli for Norwegian National Ballet in 2013. With the exception of a PDD for two dancers at POB last summer, I understand that Nice is also the first company in France that shows any piece by Liam Scarlett. The stage is lit by (up to) 9 chandelier-like groupings of around 25 bare light bulbs each. 4 lead dancers and a further 8 dancers perform in 17th century-style clothes – high-waisted culottes and knee-length coats for the men, long dresses with an extremely wide skirt, a tight top and a shoulder cover for the woman, all in burgundy. Plus nude trunks & bodies underneath, as the choreography later shows. An introductory male solo is followed by a long and sensual PDD (trunks and full dress), superbly danced by Zaloa Fabbrini and Zhani Lukaj, both promoted to soloist level only at the end of last season. Various lifts upside down, including with shivering of legs by the woman and one very high lift upside down where the female dancer does what looks like a one-armed handstand on the man’s shoulder; he holds on to her thigh and then walks across stage in that position rather fast. Various group sections with a female solo and a male duet in between follow, sometimes in full clothes, sometimes in underwear for the men and/ or the women. Some group movements look like court dancing, some like playing a string instrument, all are highly musical. The male duet seems to be about relationships and male rivalry. The programme booklet doesn’t indicate a story for the ballet, and yet I’ve taken this piece as couples at a 17th-century court and what happens on stage - and more importantly, what happens behind the scenes. Alvin Ailey’s Night Creature, to music by Duke Ellington, comes with the atmosphere of a NY jazz/ night club. 1920s style dresses and headbands for the female dancers, lots of hip shaking, some ballroom dancing, some jazz dance, and intermittently overhead lifts, arabesques, pas de bourree, pas de chat and jetes. This was not my piece as there was too much hip shaking for my taste. The audience on Saturday however truly adored it (I didn’t stay for it on Sunday as I was heading to a local cinema to see the new documentary about the Opera de Paris, see my post in the Opera & Music section), and the music proved to be an earworm – on the way back to my place, I was shaking my hips, too. Eric Vu-An has published two videos with extracts of stage rehearsals on his public Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/Eric-Vu-An-383731904998106/?fref=nf. There’ll be further performances of the triple bill later this week. Sinfonietta will also be performed by the company in Antibes in June as part of another mixed programme. The programme booklet shows 28 dancers, up from 26 dancers when I saw the company last autumn and 25 last spring. This growth in size (well, I hope it is growth rather than filling vacancies that happened to exist just when I saw the company last year), the addition of Alessandro Audisio and the entry of Scholz’ Oktett into their repertoire last year/ Scarlett’s Vespertine this year makes me excited about the future development of the company. I really look forward to the announcement of the coming season (and as an aside, I do hope that the flight connections from Stuttgart will have improved by then as getting there from London seemed to be somewhat easier & cheaper).
  5. One of the Irish cinema chains is showing the Paris Opera Ballet's Balanchine/Millepied/Robbins evening live from Paris on 1st October so it clashes with the World Ballet Day livestream. Cinema details: http://moviesatdundrum.admit-one.eu/index.php?s=M-DUNDRUM&p=details&eventCode=20163 Performance Details: https://www.operadeparis.fr/en/season-15-16/ballet/balanchine-millepied-robbins Casting: https://www.operadeparis.fr/saison-15-16/ballet/balanchine-millepied-robbins/distribution It's also being shown in European cinemas (1 Oct.) and in US cinemas in January 2016.
  6. I attended the matinee yesterday, of a quadruple bill, on a day trip via Eurostar. The choreography was all by Ailey and three of the pieces were based on music by Duke Ellington, in one case, The River, created specifically for the ballet through a direct collaboration between these two iconic African-Americans. The most balletic of all the pieces, The River, was commissioned by ABT and includes a pas de deux created on Erik Bruhn and Natatlia Makarova. I recall seeing it when ABT visited London in the early 70s. This version was later revised by Ailey for his own company, removing the pointe work and reducing the number of sections to eight. The other two Ellington pieces were Night Creature (which Festival Ballet used to perform) and Pas de Duke, which was created on the remarkable Judith Jamieson, former dancer and later artistic director of the company, and Baryshnikov. Whilst I was very glad to see the ballets again I did feel that they had dated somewhat, in terms both of ethnic representation and of dance aesthetics. The dancers were, as ever, supremely enthusiastic but don't have quite the style and control now displayed by dancers who are trained in the major ballet academies. The final piece was the signature Ailey ballet Revelations, based on negro-spirituals (the official programme uses this description). It is astonishing that after so many thousands of performances the company still presents it so freshly, dancing with such fervour yet with controlled discipline in the group sections. The religious passion is deeply moving even to an non-believer. The performance ended with both the customary wild applause and the encored Rock My Soul. It was utterly moving; not least remembering the unforgettable Dudley Williams, who performed I Wanna Be Ready with deep conviction thousands of times, even when in his 50s and virtually unable to walk; he recently died. RIP. At one time the Ailey company visited Britain frequently, touring widely and always enthusiastically received. It is time they came again, they would reach out to a broad section, not just the traditional dance audience. Finally, given the discussion on this and another theme, about the booking date for next year's summer dance festival of NYCity Ballet, the Chatelet 2015-2016 brochure states that the programmes and prices will be announced in January 2016.
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