Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater


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Lynne Taylor-Corbett is well-known to Chicagoans for her work with Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, which acquired five of her pieces in the mid-80s, including the popular Diary, a brief duet for a dancer and piano player. And she's choreographed several Broadway shows, including Swing! But I didn't know that she danced with the Ailey company from 1967 to 1968. With them she toured the Middle East, Africa, and Europe, an experience that made a deep impression--especially since their shows in Israel were canceled once the Six-Day War began. When they returned to Tel Aviv weeks later, Taylor-Corbett was struck by the friendly arguments she witnessed between Arabs and Israelis, little dreaming that the bitter conflict would go on for decades afterward. Now she's made a new dance for the Ailey troupe, Prayers From the Edge, a Romeo-and-Juliet story in which the warring factions are based on those in Israel. The brief excerpts I watched on tape, set to the Middle Eastern strains of Peter Gabriel's Passion, looked exotic, typically oversize, and agreeably musical. Also on these programs are recent revivals of Elisa Monte's 1979 duet Treading and Billy Wilson's 1992 The Winter in Lisbon, plus works by Alvin Ailey (including Revelations), Ronald K. Brown (the lovely Grace), and Ulysses Dove (Episodes, a personal favorite). Performed Wednesday and Saturday evening will be Prayers From the Edge, The Winter in Lisbon, and Revelations. On Thursday, Grace, Episodes, and The Winter in Lisbon. On Friday an all-Ailey program, including Revelations and excerpts from eight other works. At the Saturday matinee, Episodes, The Winter in Lisbon, and Revelations. And on Sunday, The Winter in Lisbon, Treading, Revelations, and Ailey's Night Creature. Auditorium Theatre, 50 E. Congress, 312-902-1500; 312-922-2110, ext. 4, for groups of ten or more. Opens Wednesday, April 2, 7:30 PM. Through April 6: Thursday, April 3, 7:30 PM; Friday, April 4, 8 PM; Saturday, April 5, 2 and 8 PM; Sunday, April 6, 3 PM. $20-$55.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Paul Kolnik.

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