25 April 2012: Alvin Ailey Dance Theater Comes to Canada
The renowned New York-based Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater held four master classes for Canadian dancers in Toronto, Ottawa and Montréal during their week-long visit to perform at the National Arts Centre and Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal. Alvin Ailey dancers Hope Boykin and Matthew Rushing led a group of young professional dancers and teachers in Ottawa and Montréal as they warmed up, stretched, and learned a few excerpts from the iconic choreography "Revelations."
The master classes were held in partnership with the U.S. Embassy and U.S. Consulate General Montréal. Julie Jacobson and Minister Counselor for Public Affairs Susan Crystal welcomed the dance troupe to the Ambassador's Residence, where they shared their love of dance and art with members of Ottawa's Arts and Culture scene.
Alvin Ailey said that one of America's richest treasures was the cultural heritage of the African-American -- "sometimes sorrowful, sometimes jubilant, but always hopeful." Today the company's sold-out performances celebrate the uniqueness of African-American culture. The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater has a long history of partnership with the U.S. State Department, when they were sponsored for their first overseas tour of the Far East, Southeast Asia, and Australia in 1962 as part of President John F. Kennedy's "President's Special International Program for Cultural Presentations."