By Jeremy Miles
The standing ovation and whoops of joy that followed this powerful and exuberant performance could have lasted forever. Or so it seemed as Bournemouth showed its appreciation for the hard work and artistry of this stunning American dance company.
All the more amazing then that this is the junior branch of the renowned Alvin Ailey Dance Theatre. In other words, theoretically at least, these dancers have yet to reach their peak. Book me a front row seat when they do because that show will be something else!!!
This performance, part of their first ever UK tour arranged in association with Dance Consortium, delivered an inspired selection of works that amply showcased the versatility of these astonishing young performers.
The opening piece, Troy Powell’s The External Knot, drew on both the traditional and contemporary. Graceful one moment, frenetically powerful the next, it was set to music by Philip Glass and Robert Schumann.
Jessica Lang’s beautifully contemplative Splendid Isolation 2. lowered the tempo before the heat was turned up again with Robert Battle’s The Hunt.
The closing section reprised Alvin Ailey’s own seminal work, Revelations. A mighty celebration of the heritage, pride and chequered history of black America, it was danced to gospel songs and spirituals. A deeply moving reminder of the humanity and spirit that fought to triumph over the shameful years of slavery and repression.