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Sept. 26, 2008
HARRISBURG  — Ailey II, the sister company of The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, will perform at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 21 for a sold-out audience at the Rose Lehrman Arts Center on the Harrisburg Campus of HACC, Central Pennsylvania’s Community College.
            The fist part of the program includes “The External Knot” choreographed by Troy Powell and “Takademe” choreographed by Robert Battle. The second half of the program, “Ailey Highlights,” features excerpts from a variety of Ailey pieces, such as “Blue Suite,” “The Lark Ascending,” “Isba,” “Hidden Rites” and “Escapades.” This selection offers audiences a glimpse of the wide range of Ailey’s choreography, spanning 30 years.
            Ailey II began in 1974 as the Alvin Ailey Repertory Ensemble, when Alvin Ailey initiated a workshop composed of the most promising scholarship students from The Ailey School. The original members of the Company were handpicked by Ailey from among that group. Ailey II embodies Ailey’s pioneering mission to establish an extended cultural community that provides dance performances, training and community programs for all people.
Today, it has become one of the most popular dance companies in the United States. Under the artistic direction of Sylvia Waters, Ailey II invigorates the American dance scene by offering unique opportunities for artists. Ailey II company members refine their technique while gaining invaluable performing and teaching experience during their tenure with the Company.
Throughout its history, many Ailey II company members have gone on to pursue successful careers as dancers, teachers and choreographers with Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, other professional dance companies, on Broadway and in schools.
            In recent years, Ailey II’s distinctive repertory has included works by dance masters Ailey, Talley Beatty, Ulysses Dove, Lar Lubovitch, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater Artistic Director Judith Jamison and such innovative choreographers as Robert Battle, Donald Byrd, Shapiro & Smith, Avila/Weeks and Kevin Wynn.
            Ailey II continues to win unmatched critical praise for its residencies at major colleges and universities as well as its visits to elementary, middle and high schools across the U.S. The Company has received numerous honors, awards and proclamations in recognition of its community outreach programs. Showcasing the talent of the country’s best young dancers, the critically acclaimed Ailey II brings exciting dance and innovative outreach programs to diverse communities throughout the country.
Ailey II will also present educational residency activities at Milton Hershey School’s (MHS) Copenhaver Dance Studios. Students will have the opportunity to participate in a career talk and master class with dancers from Ailey II.
Show sponsor for the sold-out performance is the HACC Foundation. For more information, call (717) 231-ROSE (7673) or go to Live at Rose Lehrman.
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