Ailey II Returns To Joyce Theater March 17

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Ailey II in Manuel Vignoulle’s Breakthrough.  Photo by Eduardo Patino, NYC


Ailey II’s “indefatigable, virtuosic, and relentlessly sexy” dancers (Los Angeles Times) return to The Joyce Theater from March 17 – 22 with two programs of premieres and recent audience favorites.

The Company’s spring run at The Joyce will be the first time they will present an independent season at one of dance’s most cherished and historic venues.

During an eight-performance engagement, their “off-the-charts energy” (The New Yorker) will be amplified in diverse repertory by emerging and established choreographers, including Jennifer Archibald, Amy Hall Garner, Dwight Rhoden, Katarzyna Skarpetowska, Manuel Vignoulle and Ailey II’s Artistic Director, Troy Powell.

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. Founded in 1974, the company embodies Mr. Ailey’s pioneering mission of establishing an extended cultural community that provides dance performances, training, and community programs for all people.

Ailey II flourished into one of the most popular dance companies in the country under the direction of Sylvia Waters during its first 38 years. With new Artistic Director Troy Powell at the helm, Ailey II continues to thrive as he brings a fresh dimension to this beloved company.  Ailey II’s annual touring schedule now stretches to Europe and beyond, and the company performs in over 30 cities each year.  The company’s 12 dynamic young dancers come from all over the country, including local talents Samantha Barriento (Queens, NY), Chalvar Monteiro (Montclair, NJ) and Shay Bland (Englewood, NJ).

“We couldn’t be more excited to present our first full season at The Joyce Theater,” says Ailey II Artistic Director Troy Powell.  “In the past, Ailey II participated in the 1.2.3. Festival with two other second companies, but having our own season will be a pivotal moment.  In recent years, we have been working to redefine what it means to be a second company, and I am confident that hometown audiences will be blown away by the passion and performance quality of my dancers.”

Program A will include a company and world premiere and a repertory favorite from the 2012 – 2013 season; Hissy Fits, breakthrough and Virtues.

In his 2006 contemporary ballet Hissy Fits, Dwight Rhoden, the former Ailey star turned in-demand choreographer and Artistic Director of Complexions, goes beyond mere virtuosic movement to depict the sometimes tumultuous and ambivalent nature of human relationships.  J.S. Bach’s piano music provides a powerful backdrop to the high-voltage interplay of five couples, each of whom feels the ripple effect of a series of “hissy fits,” or uncontrollable emotional impulses, that reverberate in this work.

Manuel Vignoulle’s athletic full-company world premiere work, breakthrough, is set to haunting music by Swedish composer Mikael Karlsson and examines the struggle to connect in a world where these connections are often just out of our reach.  Vignoulle’s diverse international background, first as a dancer and now as a choreographer, informs his creative approach — drawing on both the introspective, conceptual world of European modernism and the more outwardly expressive culture of American dance. Small wonder, then, that he views dance as “an art without borders which generates feelings that touch people’s hearts and lead them to reconnect with their own humanity.”

Amy Hall Garner is emerging as one of America's most diverse creative talents, with a career that spans from Broadway to ballet. In her work Virtues, set to a vibrant score by Karl Jenkins, Garner delivers high energy with a sophisticated edge. The dancers radiate with regal grace, while deftly executing a distinctive blend of contemporary modern and jazz movement.

Program B includes Powell’s 2007 The External Knot and two returning favorites from the 2013 -2014 season; Cuore Sott’olio and Wings.  The External Knot by Ailey II Artistic Director Troy Powell follows the journey of a young man and his internal battle to assert his independence from others.  A fluid series of solos, duets, and ensemble sections build to a climax with transporting music by Philip Glass and Robert Schumann.

In Polish choreographer Katarzyna Skarpetowska’s Cuore Sott’olio (“heart submerged in oil”), a female figure tumbles through the memories of past relationships in a fusion of folk dance and contemporary movement. At times wistful, turbulent, and joyous, this new work, set to music by Alva Noto and Vincio Capossela, captures the essence of a love lost and a rediscovered light within. What if there were angels moving among us on earth?

Rising choreographer Jennifer Archibald explores this intriguing possibility in her work, Wings -- an unabashedly emotional portrayal of interactions between angels and humans. Set to an ambient score by veteran dance composer Michael Wall, Archibald’s movement is ferocious yet vulnerable, showcasing both the dancers’ athletic prowess and raw honesty.

Come see why Dance Magazine hails this beloved company as “second to none.”

Tickets are on sale now, starting at $10* and can be purchased online at, by calling JoyceCharge at 212-242-0800, or at the The Joyce Theater Box Office located on 75 Eighth Avenue at 19th Street, Mon-Sun noon-6pm. Groups of 10 or more receive a discount on select tickets.

Visit or call 212-405-9082 for more details.  *$10 tickets are available by phone or at the box office only.

Both programs are approximately two hours, including two intermissions.

Ailey II is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affirs in partnership with the City Council, and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.


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