Ailey II Dancers Ailey II Dancers

Vixen Verified: Alvin Ailey's Ailey II Dominate Their 2014 Season

Ailey II

A certain level of excellence is always expected and delivered when attending an Alvin Ailey production. The school's reputation began with founder Alvin Ailey's 1958  inaugural company and has been continued through the first (Alvin Ailey) and second (Ailey II). Last Friday (Apr 4), I had the pleasure of watching three new pieces by Ailey II at the Ailey Citigroup Theatre-- Alchemies, Cuore Sott’olio, and Wings.

Seated inside a quaint theatre, the show's attention grabbing feats and skill driven combinations met my eminent presumptions in just under two hours. 

Ailey II Dancers

Unfortunately, the first number, Alchemies, failed to provide a promising glimpse of what I was in for. It fell as my least favorite performance of the night and I don’t see it becoming a returning favorite for the company’s repertoire.  Each dance in the inaugural number displayed talented dancers as individuals instead of a united front.

The male segment, however was the hit of this particular piece. Each showed strength and cohesiveness with one another--something the ladies lacked. While they didn't make up (completely) for the opening as a whole, it set the bar on who would be the standout dancers throughout the night.

Ailey II Dancers

Cuore Sott’olio was by far my favorite number of the night. From the surprise replacement of dancers throughout the piece to the chemistry between the duo and male trio--this was a performance that reflected Ailey's long revered reputation. The strength between the men and women didn’t overshadow their story but was appropriately displayed and Alva Noto and Vincio Capossela's music worked well with the different dynamics. Cuore made up for my thoughts on the beginning number and got me excited to see what else the night had in store.

Wings told the best story out of the three productions. All the issues and thoughts of the first number were made up by the closing production. The intensity and communication between the dancers riveled what the main company is known for.

Ailey II dancers

First year members Aubree Brown, Shay Bland, Jacquelin Harris and Danica Paulos demanded attention on the stage. Those four ladies made the steps their own and I wouldn’t have known they were newbies by their command of the crowd. Male dancers Jamal White, David Freeland Jr. and Gentry George were also must see's. While I missed seeing George in the duo selection, he used his time in the spotlight for all it was worth. This company represents the present and future of the prestigious muliticultural school.

With a week left of performances, we "Vixen Verify" and recommend seeing Ailey II while they are in NYC this week. Celebrating 40 years of inception, you’ll hate yourself if you miss out on their explosive introduction as the future of Ailey.

From the Web

More on Vibe

Tommaso Boddi/Getty Images)

Kelly Rowland Says Her Highly-Anticipated Project Is "Definitely Coming"

Six years ago, Kelly Rowland released her fourth studio album titled Talk a Good Game. The project boasted hit singles like "Kisses Down Low" and the transparent "Dirty Laundry." Now, the Houston native is preparing to release a project that'll surely satisfy fans' patient earbuds.

In an interview with Billboard, Rowland shared her hopes for putting out a new body of work and the pressure that she's encountered since she's been in the studio. "This is by far the longest, most pressure-filled process ever, only because I know what it's supposed to be and I have been so hard on myself. I know it," she said. "And it's the first time I've said it out loud. I've been extremely hard on myself. But it's definitely coming, and I'm more so excited about this project than anything else."

The news follows the recent release of Rowland's "Kelly" track, which was met with critical acclaim in November 2018. In addition to preparing the release of new music, the "Motivation" singer discussed fans' wish for a Destiny's Child reunion. The rumors have been fueled by social media photographs of Rowland with either Beyonce or Michelle or all three, especially during Beyonce's past Coachella performance. But Rowland assures readers that it's not what they think.

"It's so funny. I guess every time people see us together, they just see music but I see sisterhood, and that's what we are and that's what me, her, Michelle [Williams] and Solange and I are. People see us all together, they immediately think music. I'm like, no. Just family." As Rowland previously mentioned Solange, she hopes to one day work with her again.

"I'm a huge fan," she said. "I love her writing and how detailed and particular she is. I always wanted to figure out how the heck she has so many different layers of harmonies when she is constructing these vocals, and it's so complex but simple. It's genius. It's the genius in her genius mind that she has in there." One of the last times the pair collaborated was on Rowland's "Simply Deep" track off her debut solo album of the same name. Solange also penned a few songs off the same project. Fast forward to 2016, and Rowland's vocals were featured on Solange's iconic A Seat at the Table.

Continue Reading
Gabe Ginsberg/Getty Images

Teyana Taylor To Pay Homage To Ballroom Culture In "WTP" Video

Teyana Taylor aims to keep her hot streak of innovative videos coming thanks to this recent announcement. Taking to Instagram on Wednesday (Jan. 9), the "Gonna Love Me" singer will show adoration to ballroom culture in the visual for "WTP."

Directed by Gregory "Beef" Jones, The Aunties Inc., and Taylor herself, the Harlemite takes viewers on her journey to the expression-filled space where she hopes to rack up 10s across the board from a group of judges. The premise of the video also seems to follow a mockumentary format airing on a fictional network named FEMTV. Alongside Taylor, other men and women get ready to display their talents and confidence on the ballroom floor.

"WTP" is featured on the mother-of-one's sophomore album, K.T.S.E., which was released in June 2018. While the rollout's controversy didn't entirely muddle the excitement behind the project's debut, Taylor said she was sold on the idea that her album would be treated as the biggest out of G.O.O.D. Music's string of releases last year.

"I didn't know ahead of time that there wouldn't be any singles or visuals. But I knew that it was going to be the five-album thing," she said during a HOT 97 interview. "[Kanye] wanted [my album] to be last, he wanted mine to be the biggest. That's the way they sauced it up. I was sold."

The video will debut on Jan. 19. Check out the teaser below.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

👀 1.19.19 👀 #WTP Directed by @teyanataylor & @ogbeefjones @theauntiesinc 🙏🏾🙌🏾🙏🏾 The wait is ALMOST over. 😏 @museumofsex

A post shared by Jimmy Neutch- Shumpert (@teyanataylor) on Jan 8, 2019 at 6:32pm PST

Continue Reading
Getty Images

Trina Braxton’s Ex-Husband, Gabe Solis, Dies After Battle With Cancer

Gabe Solis, the ex-husband of Trina Braxton, lost his battle with cancer, Thursday (Dec. 20),  TMZ reports. He was 43.

Solis passed away at his home in Texas, surrounded by friends and family, according to the outlet. No official details have been released about his passing.

Solis had reportedly been keeping his cancer battle private. His death came as a shock to his loved ones. On Friday (Dec. 21), Braxton seemingly mourned the loss of her ex-husband with a cryptic Instagram meme reading, “I need a hug..E bottle of wine.”

The former couple tied the knot in 2003, and appeared together on previous seasons of WEtv’s Braxton Family Values. Despite finalizing their divorce in 2015, Braxton and Solis confronted lingering issues from their marriage during an episode of Iyanla: Fix My Life, earlier in the year.

Braxton has since moved on to a new relationship, but remained friends with Solis.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Trina Braxton (@trinabraxton1) on Dec 21, 2018 at 9:49am PST

READ MORE: Phaedra Parks To Join 'Braxton Family Values' Cast

Continue Reading

Top Stories