Posted by | Ray Cornelius
I had the pleasure of attending the “Legacy of Dreams & Revelations” event Wednesday night presented by The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre and The National Center for Civil and Human Rights.
The invitation only event featured a lively panel discussion about how the arts and social movements have connected over the years to become vehicles for change. The conversation included Ailey’s Artistic Director, Robert Battle along with veteran Ailey dancer and choreographer, Hope Boykin and Andrea Young, Executive Director of the ACLU of Georgia. CNN news anchor Fredricka Whitfield served as the evening’s moderator.
Ailey’s current North American Tour is comprised of a number of socially conscience works including Masekela Language, which spotlights South African apartheid and 1960s violence in Chicago and Kyle Abraham‘s Untitled America, which takes a haunting look at the impact of the prison system on African-American families. But it Boykin’s new work, “r-Evolution, Dream” that was at the center of last night’s discussion. It is an ensemble piece that was inspired by a 2015 visit she had at the Center and from the numerous Dr. Martin Luther King’s sermons and speeches that got her creative wheels spinning. Music for “r-Evolution” is composed by Ali Jackson from NYC’s Jazz at Lincoln Center and narration is provided by Tony Award winning-actor Leslie Odum from Broadway’s “Hamilton.”
Boykin opened up about the creative process of “r-Evolution, Dream” and how Dr. King’s voice had a certain rhythm that she was able to match with intricate dance steps and movement. She also wanted this work to reflect Alvin Ailey‘s longstanding belief that “dance comes from the people and should be delivered back to the people.”
Following the discussion was brief Q&A and an intimate cocktail reception. Atlanta notables in attendance included Civil Rights icon, Rev. C.T. Vivian, city councilman and mayoral candidate Kwanza Hall, media personality Rashana Ali, UPSCALE Magazine’s Satchel Jester, media personality Angela Robinson, noted dancer and choreographer Juel D. Lane, and Executive Director of the City of Atlanta’s Office of Cultural Affairs, Camille Russell Love.
See more photos below and click here to purchase tickets to Ailey’s Atlanta engagement at the Fabulous Fox Theatre. Also, don’t forget to tune into my radio show “UPFRONT” on January 21 at 9 a.m., where I talk exclusively to Hope Bryant about “r-Evolution, Dream” and more.
Robert Battle with Fredricka Whitfield
Hope Boykin with ACLU’s Andrea Hope
Hope Boykin with Judith Service-Montier
Juan Montier and Angela Robinson
Camille Russell Love
Rev. C.T. Vivian and Hope Boykin
Juel D. Lane with Robert Battle
Robert Battle and the Atlanta Ailey Ambassadors
Ray Cornelius with Robert Battle
Photo Credits: Ray Cornelius.com