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Alvin Ailey company arrives at the Smith Center

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Photo: Andrew Eccles

It started with a 1958 performance at the 92nd Street Y community center in Manhattan. There, a 20-something African-American dancer and choreographer named Alvin Ailey staged a performance that would launch a dance company, a cultural movement and a rich legacy in the performing arts. That day, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater was born.

The Details

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
March 20-21, 7:30 p.m., $42-$141
The Smith Center, 749-2000
Beyond the Weekly
The Smith Center

Today, 23 years after the death of its founder, AAADT has performed in 71 countries for an estimated 23 million people and been called a “vital American cultural ambassador to the world” by Congress. The 2012 North American tour lands at the Smith Center March 20-21, bringing with it works by new artistic director Robert Battle, who draws on Indian rhythms and Nina Simone vocals; hip-hop choreographer Rennie Harris’ “Home,” inspired by people living with HIV; and “Revelations,” a classic Alvin Ailey-choreographed piece that uses spirituals, blues and gospel to explore emotional highs and lows. This is modern dance it its best and most relevant. Enjoy

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