CHICAGO — The renowned Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater is once again gracing the stage in Chicago.
“For me, it’s always about giving back to me and thanking the city for giving birth to me,” said Ailey dancer Vernard Gilmore.
Gilmour went from dancing at Chicago’s Curie High School to the world-renowned Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. He joined the New York theater in 1997.
“Now being there for a quarter of a century, it’s really a tradition in terms of a spiritual moment for all of our viewers,” Gilmour said.
He is one of several contemporary Ailey dancers originally from the Chicago area.
Alvin Ailey founded the company in 1958, preserving and promoting the black cultural experience through dance.
His masterpiece “Discoveries” is considered the most popular modern dance work in the world. It’s always the finale, but this year’s program also features works by other famous choreographers, from Kyle Abraham to Twyla Tharp.
“Our audiences are as excited about the new works as they are about the legacy, because they are all connected, they all influence each other,” said artistic director Robert Battle.
Battle calls it a celebration of the past, present and future.
“When we come and perform here, our Chicago crowd gets really excited because our energy, our vibrancy and our electricity really connects with the electricity of this city,” Battle said.
While Gilmore said he’s proud of his progress, bringing his life to the state and continuing the Ailey tradition.
“It’s a passion, an opportunity to express yourself in a way that no other form of art or method of communication can. It gives me life.”
Alvin Ailey’s performances at the Auditorium Theater conclude on Sunday.
Suggest a correction