Based in New York City, Ailey II, the second company of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, merges the spirit and energy of the country’s best young dance talent with the passion and creative vision of some of today’s best emerging choreographers.
Ailey II will perform three ballets at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 31, at the Cookeville Performing Arts Center.
“It is a great opportunity to expose our students and the town of Cookeville to this type of dance,” said Robert Owens, director of minority affairs at TTU. “We’ve got a handful of small dance businesses in town and there’s a lot of dancing that takes place here, but it’s not often that you see a world-renowned company come to town.”
Created in 1974, the company brings together some of the best young dancers from around the country to tour the nation and the globe. Their stop in Cookeville is one of three in Tennessee.
Company founder Alvin Ailey grew up in the rural South before moving to Los Angeles. He formed the company to preserve the uniqueness of the African-American cultural experience through modern dance.
Because the performance is being held through TTU’s Center Stage, tickets are free. The event is open to the public, but TTU students take priority.
The performance marks the start of TTU’s celebration of Black History Month.
“This company plays a huge role in black history,” Owens said. “You can’t study this kind of art without coming across Alvin Ailey’s name.”
TTU students are limited to two tickets each, to be picked up from 8:30 a.m. to noon in Henderson Hall 204C or from 1 p.m. until 4:30 p.m. in Roaden University Center 258 beginning Monday, Jan. 23 until noon on Friday, Jan. 27. Those tickets guarantee a seat until 7:15 p.m. the night of the performance. After 7:15, seats are open for the public. Doors open at 6:45 p.m.
For information about other Black History Month events, check www.tntech.edu.