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Amber Henrie
Alvin Ailey Dance Theater
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Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater - A Groove To Nobody's Business

by Amber Henrie
January 4, 2008
New York City Center
130 West 56th Street
(Audience Entrance is on West 55th Street between 6th and 7th Avenues)
(Entrance for Studios and Offices is on West 56th Street between 6th and 7th Avenues)
New York, NY 10019

Featured Dance Company:

Alvin Ailey Dance Theater
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
405 West 55th Street
New York, NY 10019
(212) 405-9000

The 2007 season for the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater was stellar. The company premiered four new productions this year. While Judith Jamison did not choreograph a new production, two former Ailey School dancers, Camille Brown and Fredrick Earl Mosley, were the talented choreographers behind the world premieres of "A Grove to Nobody's Business" and "Saddle Up!"

"A Groove to Nobody's Business" is a number that anyone can enjoy and relate to – or at least anyone who rides public transportation. The story line is original and entertaining as it takes us on the journey of the relationships which develop among strangers waiting for a subway train. The production captures how life can be dynamic even in mundane situations.

The overall movement style was part hip-hop, a little bit of jazz, but mainly theatrical. Brown had many unique soaring leaps and stylistic jumps through the three movements. During the first movement, the dancers where walking down the street and each one had their own unique walk and attitude to compliment that walk. This carried over throughout various parts of the number. The focus during the first movement was on Abdur-Rahim Jackson. Dressed in a bright green shirt, he floated up, down and around the other dancers. His energy was contagious, powerful and fiery. He definitely was a stand out in this production.

A comical scene in the second movement was the theatrical display of each dancer as a subway car passes through the station and doesn't stop. The audience laughed and they shared the frustration the dancers so eloquently danced.

The third movement highlighted Clifton Brown as the businessman minding his own business and reading his paper. The other passengers in the subway car continue to peak at his paper as he tries to keep them from looking. However, he can't mind his own when a couple starts bickering over him and he busts out with his own groove. The bickering couple has their own shining moment and the whole group moves consistently, changing seats and taking turns in the limelight.

Ms. Brown did an excellent job developing stage characters through movement and interaction over the three sections. She also captured the unique entertainment quality that can be attained through contemporary choreography while also delivering a Broadway appeal that is sure to entertain any audience.
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