|Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in Robert Battle's The Hunt. Photo by Paul Kolnik|
The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater has landed in Toronto, and with an enormous amount of noise in the form of screams, cheers and ear-splitting hurrahs. The arrival of the New York-based troupe on our side of the border has always been cause for celebration; there’s no beating the potent physicality of the dancers, or the raw, often visceral connectedness an audience member feels for the choreography, often by a range of modern and contemporary dance artists.
But this time, there was added incentive for the standing ovation that greeted the company when on Thursday it gave the first of four scheduled performances at Toronto's Sony Centre of the Performing Arts. The run concludes today with matinee and evening performances of a mixed program. Since July, the 30-member ensemble has been guided by newly appointed director Robert Battle, a former dancer turned choreographer whose association with the Ailey company stems from 1999 when he was first appointed artist-in-residence.