Maui Arts & Entertainment

Famed Ailey II Dance Company on Maui, Feb. 16

February 2, 2017, 7:00 PM HST
* Updated February 2, 3:49 PM
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Maui Arts & Cultural Center presents Ailey II performing four works from their current repertory including one premiere, Thursday, Feb. 16 in the Castle Theater at 7:30 p.m.

The company’s current 25-city world tour is taking the 12-member ensemble to more than 20 cities across the US, from Rochester, NY to Kansas City, MO to Honolulu and Maui, HI. Ailey II will also reach international audiences in the Bahamas, Germany, and France, before returning home for its annual New York spring season.

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. Ailey II is one of the most popular dance companies in the country, combining a rigorous touring schedule with extensive community outreach programs.

In his fifth year leading the company, Artistic Director Troy Powell announces four dynamic new commissions.

“I am excited to introduce audiences to the outstanding premieres by talented rising choreographers that we’ve welcomed into the repertory,” said Troy Powell of the current tour. “These diverse and powerful new works – along with the returning favorites – showcase the strength, grace, and versatility of these gifted young dancers.”

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The Maui performance will include Jean Emile’s In & Out, Jamar Roberts’ Gêmeos, Ray Mercer’s Something Tangible, and one of this season’s premieres, Bridget L. Moore’s Sketches of Flames.

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Choreographer and Ailey School alumnus Jean Emile’s In & Out is a poignant work for eight dancers that gives an unflinchingly honest view of the ups and downs of contemporary life. Drawing on a mix of dance techniques, Emile brings a fresh approach, which is amplified by a varied score that includes music by Alva Noto, Alberto Iglesias, and Jun Miyake.

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater dancer Jamar Roberts makes his Ailey II choreographic debut with his work Gêmeos (Portuguese for twins). Loosely based on the relationship of Roberts and his brother growing up as children – one a dancer, the other an athlete – Roberts illustrates the dynamic between contrasting personalities and how they evolve from hostility to harmony. Using music with heavy percussion, brassy horns, groovy bass guitar, and the commanding singing style of Afrobeat star Fela Kuti, Roberts perfectly captures the energy of youth in Gêmeos.

Inspired by everyday emotions that awaken and bring color to the human spirit, choreographer Ray Mercer leads the ensemble cast into a series of vignettes that reflect sensations of love, passion, fear, and self-doubt in Something Tangible. The work features a wide range of musical styles that include artists Max Richter, Ólafur Arnalds, Geoff Bennett, and an original score by Bongi Duma.

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In Sketches of Flames, Bridget L. Moore fuses flamenco influences with her African-American and contemporary aesthetic to create a rapturous ensemble dance. Set to a series of passionate folk songs and drawing upon the writings of Federico García Lorca and others, each section of this eight-part work depicts a different facet of the joys and sorrows of love.

This season, six new dancers – Tara Bellardini, Khalia Campbell, Yazzmeen Laidler, Jessica Amber Pinkett, Martell Ruffin, and Christopher R. Wilson – join the six returning members – Lloyd A. Boyd III, Gabriel Hyman, Jacob Lewis, Jacoby Pruitt, Courtney Celeste Spears, and Terri Ayanna Wright. Ailey II also welcomes Fana Fraser as Rehearsal Director this season.

Tickets are $35, $50, $65 plus applicable fees. MACC members receive a 10% discount. Kids 12 and under are half-price. Tickets available at the MACC Box Office, by phone at 242-SHOW (7469) or MauiArts.org.

Ailey II’s Courtney Celeste Spears and Jacoby Pruitt in Jamar Roberts’ Gêmeos. Photo by Eduardo Patino.

Ailey II in Bridget L. Moore’s Sketches of Flames. Photo bu Kyle Froman.

Ailey II in Bridget L. Moore’s Sketches of Flames. Photo by Kyle Froman.

Ailey II in Bridget L. Moore’s Sketches of Flames. Photo by Kyle Froman.

Ailey II in Jean Emile’s In & Out. Photo by Eduardo Patino.

Ailey II in Ray Mercer’s Something Tangible. Photo by Eduardo Patino.

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