Sponsored by Tennessee Tech University’s Minority Affairs Office and Center Stage, the show is a Black History Month featured event that is free and open to the public. Tickets for the Tuesday show are reserved mainly for students, and tickets for the following night’s performance are reserved for the community.
Considered the junior troupe of New York’s famed Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, it was created by Ailey in 1974. It merges the spirit and energy of the country’s best young dancers with the passion and creative vision of today’s most outstanding emerging choreographers.
"Call it the ‘second company,’ but don’t call it second rate. Ailey II showcases the best young dancers of the next generation," says critic Valerie Sudol of the Newark Star-Ledger.
The troupe’s repertory is diverse, including everything from classical, jazz and blues to pieces influenced by traditional Indian Kathak dance.
The company’s current tour includes premieres of The Hunt, choreographer Robert Battle’s latest ballet, and The Tyner Project, a collaboration with jazz pianist McCoy Tyner specially commissioned for the 2002 Verizon Music Festival and choreographed by Troy Powell.
Throughout its history, more than 30 Ailey II members have been selected to join the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, and many others have pursued successful careers as dancers, teachers and choreographers with other professional dance companies and schools.
Tickets are available for Ailey II’s Cookeville performance at both the Drama Center and TTU’s Minority Affairs Office. For more information, call the Drama Center at 931/528-1313 or Minority Affairs at 931/372-3392.