Ailey 2 is universally renowned for merging the spirit and energy of the country’s finest early-career dance talent in the United States with the passion and creative vision of today’s most outstanding and emerging choreographers. Dance Magazine calls Ailey 2 “second to none,” and The New York Times declares “There’s nothing like an evening spent with Ailey 2, the younger version of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.”
For their return to the UK, Ailey 2 brings an exciting repertory featuring Francesca Harper’s futuristic Freedom Series (excerpt), Robert Battle’s thrilling The Hunt, the incredible energy of William Forsythe’s Enemy in the Figure (excerpt), and Alvin Ailey’s beloved masterpiece Revelations.
Founded by Alvin Ailey, the company embodies his pioneering mission to establish an extended cultural community that provides dance performances, training, and community programs for all people. Since its 1974 inception, Ailey 2 has flourished into one of the most popular modern dance companies, combining a rigorous touring schedule with extensive community outreach programs. Today, with new Artistic Director Francesca Harper at the helm, she brings fresh perspectives to Mr. Ailey’s legacy, while nurturing new creative voices and propelling the company forward.
Enemy in the Figure (excerpt) is the intensely propulsive central section of William Forsythe’s eponymous work. Originally created in Germany (1989) for his ensemble, Ballet Frankfurt, the full work has been performed in major venues across the globe. Thom Willem’s percussive and rhythmically driving electronic score was the source of the work’s choreographic invention and influenced the radical use of light and shadow in the original stage design. This excerpt puts the formidable dance skills of the Ailey 2 dancers on fine display, giving their craft and vitality an invigorating framework.
Inspired by her Ailey homecoming, Francesca Harper’s Freedom Series travels through a landscape of memories creating a series of vignettes that embody and imagine a hybrid world where memory strives to influence the future. Depicted through this futuristic lens, and developed in collaboration with the Ailey 2 dancers, Harper’s work examines identity and community. With costumes by designer Elias Gurrola and a score featuring a blend of acoustic and electronic sounds, Freedom Series’ unexpected twists and turns bridge tender moments to its intrinsic ferocity.
Robert Battle’s athletic work reveals the predatory side of human nature and the primitive thrill of the hunt. A thundering percussion soundtrack by Les Tambours du Bronx drives the explosive movement that runs the gamut from modern sports to the rituals of the gladiators in Battle’s The Hunt.
Using African-American spirituals, song-sermons, gospel songs and holy blues, Alvin Ailey’s Revelations fervently explores the places of deepest grief and holiest joy in the soul. Ailey said that one of America’s richest treasures was the cultural heritage of the African-American – “sometimes sorrowful, sometimes jubilant, but always hopeful.” This enduring classic is a tribute to that heritage and to Ailey’s genius.
Images: Main image – Ailey 2 in Alvin Ailey’s Revelations. Photo by Eduardo Patino. Gallery – Ailey 2 in Alvin Ailey’s Revelations. Photos by Nir Arieli; Ailey 2 in Francesca Harper’s Freedom Series. Photo by Erin Baiano; Ailey 2 in Robert Battle’s The Hunt. Photo by Nan Melville; Ailey 2 in William Forsythe’s Enemy in the Figure. Photos by Erin Baiano; Ailey 2 in Alvin Ailey’s Revelations. Photo by Nir Arieli; Ailey 2’s Kali Marie Oliver and Andrew Bryant in Alvin Ailey’s Revelations. Photo by Nir Arieli.
We offer a range of discounts and concessions to enable everyone to enjoy an affordable visit to Birmingham Hippodrome.
£10 off, price band A & B
Up to two children go half price with every full paying adult, price bands A-C.
Select ‘Half Price Child’ price type and the discount will apply once seats are added to the basket.
CLAIMANTS, UNDER 16s, OVER 65s, FULL TIME STUDENTS AND PASSPORT TO LEISURE
£4 off price band A, £5 off price band B & C
Price band A & B
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Parties of 10 or more pay £13.50 per ticket plus 1 FREE ticket for teacher/supervising adult for every 10 booked. Free ice lolly per ticket (excl. free adult places)
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CONCESSIONS FOR PATRONS WITH DISABILITIES
£5 off standard price tickets in all seating areas.
2 for 1 for disabled patrons who require the service/support of a companion.
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24 hours prior to a performance, best available seats for the lowest price, maximum 2 per booker, subject to availability
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TERMS AND CONDITIONS
Discounts and Concessions are offered subject to availability at the discretion of the Information and Sales Manager. Top three price bands only, unless otherwise stated. Restrictions may apply. Only one discount per ticket may apply, unless otherwise stated. Offers are non retrospective and cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer. Valid ID must be presented where applicable. Additional discounts may be offered from time to time.
Post-Show Q&A – Tue 3 Oct
Post-show Q&A with the company on Tue 3 Oct (free to ticket holders)
Curtain Raiser – Wed 4 Oct 7.30pm
Before the main show, there’s a chance to see our Curtain Raiser performance in partnership with Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. 20 talented young people from across the West Midlands have been recruited from schools in the Hippodrome Education Network and from our dance development programme. Created by Artistic Director at Phoenix Dance Theatre and former Ailey dancer and professional choreographer, Marcus Willis, these young dancers joined five intensive rehearsals to produce a piece that is inspired by themes in Francesca Harper’s Freedom Series and uses the history of Ailey to explore the future of young dancers.
The New Yorker
"The entire company looks terrific. Clearly, the future is theirs"
The New York Times
"Second to none"