ArtSEA: Dance legends bring conflict, joy and music to Seattle stages

Seattle audiences have two more ways to experience the magic of dance in person this weekend, with visits from two superstar companies. the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater arrives at Primal Theater (March 26-27) to showcase several different mixed bills showcasing the company’s 60-year history – including Blue Suitewhich launched Ailey’s career in 1958 (he died in 1989), and the unforgettable epic Revelationswhich employs spirituals, blues and gospel music to embody the grief and joy of the African American experience.

And the phenomenal Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company will occur at mean center at the University of Washington. In his latest book, What problem? (March 24-28), choreographer, screenwriter and director Jones contemplates several texts, including Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech, The souls of black people by WEB Du Bois and Herman Melville’s Moby-Dickespecially the character of Pip, the black cabin boy who goes “crazy” after being stranded at sea.

The performance marks an exciting new creative partnership – one that will bring a new vision of dance to Seattle. Jones, based in New York, is the Meany Center’s new artistic associate, a year-long position in which the choreographer – now 70, with a metaphorical coat enjoying a MacArthur Fellowship, Kennedy Center Honors, the National Medal of Arts and two Tony Awards for choreography (Fela! and spring awakening) — will develop a series of new productions (details to be announced in June).

For now, you can get to know Jones in What problem?, in which he stars and of which he said: “These ideas are colliding in my mind and in my creative self like tectonic plates. Tectonic activity creates land formations, volcanic eruptions and the rearrangement of entire continents.

About Shirley A. Tamayo

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