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Press Contact:

Emily Hawkins







APRIL 15-26, 2009


Vibrant Young Company to Perform 3 new works and 4 Repertory Favorites

Artistic Director Sylvia Waters Celebrates 40 Years with Ailey


Ailey II's Demetia Hopkins and Josh Johnson in Troy Powell's Hope (The Final Rise). Photo:  Eduardo Patino, NYC.



New York, NY (March 4, 2009)  Ailey II, the youthful and gifted second company of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, will return to its home, The Ailey Citigroup Theater, for a highly anticipated two week season featuring 13 exciting performances from April 15-26.  In 2007, when the critically acclaimed Company debuted its annual New York Season at The Ailey Citigroup Theater, they performed to sold-out audiences. Ailey II’s 2009 New York season comes on the heels of a successful 35-city North American tour and a sensational 2008 spring season at The Joyce Theater’s as a part of the 1.2.3 Festival.


Ailey II Artistic Director Sylvia Waters, a recipient of the 2008 Dance Magazine Award who is celebrating her 40th Anniversary with Ailey, is delighted to be returning to the Company’s home theater.  “There’s no place like home,” Waters says. “We have so much to share with New York audiences, between our world premieres and repertory favorites, there is truly something for everyone.”


Known for merging the spirit and energy of the best young dance talent with the passion and artistry of today’s most outstanding emerging choreographers, this year, Ailey II will treat New York to two dynamic programs featuring seven unique ballets.  The “New Works” program will feature: Hope (The Final Rise), by Ailey II‘s Associate Artistic Director Troy Powell; Movin’ On, by former AAADT company member and Tony Award-winning choreographer George Faison;  Valse, by former Ailey School student Sidra Bell; and an excerpt of Jessica Lang’s 2006, Splendid Isolation II. The “Repertory Favorites” program will feature: Troy Powell’s The External Knot; current Ailey II member Chang Yong Sung’s Requiem; former Ailey company member Christopher L. Huggins’s When Dawn Comes…; and a special encore performance of George Faison’s Movin’ On.  (See attached performance schedule)


Performance Schedule


Wednesday, April 15, 2009 at 8:00 pm

Thursday, April 16, 2009 at 8:00 pm

Friday, April 17, 2009 at 8:00 pm

Saturday, April 18, 2009 at 3:00 pm & 8:00 pm

Sunday, April 19, 2009 at 3:00 pm

Wednesday, April 22, 2009 at 8:00 pm

Thursday, April 23, 2009 at 8:00 pm

Friday, April 24, 2009 at 8:00 pm

Saturday, April 25, 2009 at 3:00 pm & 8:00 pm

Sunday, April 26, 2009 at 3:00 pm & 7:00 pm


New Works (April 15, 17, 18 mat, 19 mat, 24, 25 mat, 26 eve)

Valse, Splendid Isolation II (Excerpt), Hope (The Final Rise) and Movin’ On

Repertory Favorites (April 16, 18 eve, 22, 23, 25 eve, 26 mat)

The External Knot, Requiem, When Dawn Comes… and Movin’ On



Tickets are now on sale at $45.  To purchase tickets, visit or or call SmartTix at 212-868-4444.  Tickets can be purchased on the day of a performance at The Ailey Citigroup Theater box office located at 405 West 55th Street one hour prior to curtain (subject to availability).  If available, a limited number of student rush tickets  can be purchased at the box office 30 minutes prior to curtain for $10 (cash only). Groups of 10 or more save up to 20%.  Visit or call 212-405-9082.




Hope (The Final Rise), explores the possibility of hope and change within a group of individuals.   In this ballet, Powell explores what we can expect for the future, how we can create lasting change and how we can ensure the changes are powerful, positive statements.  This work utilizes a dynamic musical composition by Grammy-nominee David Chesky to highlight Powell’s energetic, potent choreography.  This piece is a moving follow-up to his 2007ballet, The External Knot, which is also a part of the season repertoire. Troy Powell is a former member of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and is currently the Associate Artistic Director of Ailey II.  Powell has been called “one of the most intriguing African-American choreographic voices working today” by The Kansas City Star.

Movin’ On blends the vibrant vocal stylings of jazz artist Betty Carter with the rich, emotional choreography that has become Faison’s trademark.  Movin’ On has a strong energy that colors each step of the choreography.  Mr. Faison is the co-founder and producing artistic director of the Faison Firehouse Theatre, located in a former Harlem firehouse.

Valse invites you into an atmospheric world with a mysterious language of its own. With an intense physicality the work is rich with lush, spiraling duets that move seamlessly throughout the piece.  The music for Valse was composed as a collaborative effort between Sidra Bell and her father, Dennis Bell. 



The External Knot (2007)

Troy Powell’s The External Knot is a modern work that follows the journey of a young man who attempts to show a group of individuals that he does not need them and is sufficient on his own. The piece captures the internal battle the young man is fighting against loneliness. He experiences despair, alienation and finally reconciliation. The group tries to encourage the man to join them even as they experience their own trials and tribulations.


When Dawn Comes… (2007)

The grace of a woman searching, tomorrow’s ground is uncertain.  What happens when dawn comes? As a dancer, teacher and choreographer Christopher L. Huggins, a former AAADT member, has worked in five European countries, Japan and throughout the U.S.  Described by the Village Voice as having “a precise, aggressive style,” Huggins’ choreography draws the audience in and keeps them wanting more.  When Dawn Comes… is boldly set to the music of Jeff Story and Rachel Grimes. 


Requiem (2007)

Commissioned by Syracuse University, Requiem is a duet for two men set to music by Kronos Quartet that delves into the idea of two minds being merged in one body.  Chang Yong Sung (Korea) graduated from Dukwon Arts School and The Korean National University of Arts. He is a fellowship student at The Ailey School and performed in Alvin Ailey’s Memoria at New York City Center. As a choreographer, Sung’s work entitled Moment was performed in New York City at LaMama Theater and the DUMBO Festival at White Wave Dance Theater.


Splendid Isolation II (excerpt) (2006)

Jessica Lang created Splendid Isolation II, an adaptation of her work Splendid Isolation, specifically for Ailey II. Set to the choral piece O Maria, Stella Maris by Trio Mediaeval and Adagietto from Mahler’s Symphony No. 5 in C Sharp Minor, the work focuses on a woman enveloped in a large skirt and a man, while the rest of the dancers perform on the perimeter, isolating the couple in the center. Lang “impresses by the range of dynamics, the urge of onrushing movement in ever-changing and surprising group formations and has [the audience] spellbound with the sheer beauty of her ambitious form of dance theatre.” (Dance For You Magazine)



Ailey II is universally renowned for merging the spirit and energy of the country's best young dance talent with the passion and creative vision of today's most outstanding emerging choreographers. Alvin Ailey personally appointed former Ailey member Sylvia Waters as Artistic Director in 1974. Under her direction, Ailey II has become one of the nation’s most popular dance companies, combining a rigorous touring schedule with extensive community programs.

“The entire company, directed by Sylvia Waters, looks terrific.  Clearly, the future is theirs.” -Jennifer Dunning, The New York Times,


SYLVIA WATERS, Artistic Director

Since Ailey II’s inception over 30 years ago, Artistic Director Sylvia Waters has been responsible for the growth and expansion of one of the country's most vibrant young dance companies.  She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Dance at The Juilliard School, and studied with distinguished faculty members Antony Tudor, Martha Graham, Alfredo Corvino, Ethel Winter, Helen McGhee, Bertram Ross and Mary Hinkson.  Following her graduation from Juilliard, Ms. Waters moved to Paris where she appeared regularly on television and worked with Michel Descombey, then director of the Paris Opera Ballet, as well as Milko Sparembleck, and subsequently performed in Brussels and at the Summer Olympics in Mexico City.  Ms. Waters returned to the United States in 1968 and joined Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.  She toured as a principal dancer with the Company until assuming her current position with Ailey II.  Ms. Waters has also established a distinguished reputation as a teacher, conducting master classes throughout the U.S. and Europe.  In 1997, she received an honorary doctorate from the State University of New York at Oswego.  She has served as a panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts and the New York State Council on the Arts.  In 2008, Ms. Waters received the Legacy Award as part of the 20th Annual IABD Festival and Syracuse University’s Women of Distinction Award and received the prestigious Dance Magazine Award.




Emily Hawkins

Public Relations Associate

Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation, Inc.

405 W 55th St. (at 9th Avenue)

New York, NY 10019


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