The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater will perform at 8 p.m. today in the IU Auditorium.
Tickets start at $23 for students and $44 for the general public.
The auditorium brought Alvin Ailey to IU because of the company’s popularity, prestige and culturally relevant work accomplished all over the world, IU Auditorium Associate Director Maria Talbert said.
“They are one of the world’s most celebrated dance ensembles, and their live performances have been seen by over 23 million people,” Talbert said. “Witnessing the Ailey company perform is considered by many to be an artistic ‘rite of passage,’ and we are thrilled to be able to give that opportunity to the IU and Bloomington
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater is a performing arts community that works to preserve African-American heritage and celebrate other cultures as well, according to the group’s website.
The group grew out of a performance by a man named Alvin Ailey and a group of African-American dancers in New York City in 1958. Their performance revolutionized African-American participation in dance and transformed modern dance in general.
The group performs modern dance from a wide variety of influences including ballet, jazz, hip hop, lyrical and ballroom.
“It will at times be upbeat, fast-paced and lively, while others will be tender, gentle and endearing,” Talbert said. “Audience members often find they are so enraptured by the performances that they catch themselves holding their breath.”
This is especially true for the final dance of the program, “Revelations.” Watching this piece can be a transcendent experience, Talbert said.
“What I find so captivating about watching the Ailey company perform is their unique mix of stunning athleticism and deep, soulful spirituality,” Talbert said. “Audiences can expect to be awed by the sheer physical power of these dancers, and moved by their ability to connect to each viewer on a deeply personal level.”
Talbert first saw the company perform when she was at Albion College, and it made an unforgettable impression on her, she said.
“Whether or not you have seen a professional dance performance before, to watch anyone who is arguably the best in their field doing what has made them renowned is a unique and special experience,” Talbert said. “It’s like viewing the Mona Lisa, or watching Michael Jordan play basketball — if the chance presents itself to see it, you simply have to.”