Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater | Auditorium Theatre | Dance | Chicago Reader

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater Recommended The Short List (Theater)

When: May 18-22 2011

Poised to succeed Judith Jamison, who succeeded Ailey himself, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater artistic director-designate Robert Battle carries on one of the 53-year-old company's finest traditions: letting men be women. Or flexibly masculine, anyway. In Battle's choreography, men claim their passion, vulnerability, sensuality. Among the Chicago premieres offered during this six-show stand is the Battle-choreographed solo In/Side (2008), whose male dancer comes across as flustered; off-balance turns and falls, set to Nina Simone's "Wild Is the Wind," suggest that he's at the mercy of his feelings. Battle's 2001 sextet The Hunt (which the Ailey II company performed last summer at the Chicago Dancing Festival) depicts men as fierce animals, but they also shimmy their shoulders and snake their spines in stereotypically female ways. An ardent, thorny male duet drives Jamison's 1989 Forgotten Time, which is being revived this season. Also new to Chicago: Christopher Huggins's Anointed, Camille Brown's The Evolution of a Secured Feminine, and Ailey's 1976 Three Black Kings. Ailey's Revelations graces all six programs; his Night Creature can be seen on Thursday and Friday, his Suite Otis on Saturday evening only. More details at auditoriumtheatre.org. --Laura Molzahn

Price: $30-$87

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