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Ailey II dance company to make Athens debut


A woman in a dance pose in mid air.

ATHENS, Ga. —  UGA Presents is bringing Ailey II  to the Fine Arts Theatre Jan. 31 for a 7:30 p.m. performance. The company will make its Athens debut with a program that includes Alvin Ailey’s 1960 classic, Revelations, along with newer works by current artistic director Troy Powell and emerging choreographers.

Started in 1974 as the Alvin Ailey Repertory Ensemble, Ailey II embodies Alvin Ailey’s pioneering mission to establish an extended cultural community that provides dance performances, training and community programs for all people.

Ailey personally selected the veteran dancer Sylvia Waters to lead this junior company, and as its artistic director for 38 years, she developed Ailey II into one of America’s most popular dance companies. In June 2012, Waters retired and named her longtime associate Troy Powell as the new artistic director.

A native New Yorker, Powell began his dance training at the age of nine as a scholarship student at The Ailey School. Following his graduation from the High School of Performing Arts, he became a member of Ailey II and then joined Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in 1991. 

In addition to choreographing ballets for America’s leading dance companies, Powell has choreographed episodes of Sesame Street,  America’s Next Top Model and the Polish version of So You Think You Can Dance. He has been featured in an American Express commercial with the Ailey company and has appeared on television in George C. Wolfe’s The Colored Museum and on PBS’s Great Performances: Dance in America.

Tickets for Ailey II start at $55 and can be purchased at the Performing Arts Center box office, online at pac.uga.edu or by calling 706-542-4400. A limited number of discounted tickets are available to current UGA students for $10 with a valid UGA ID (limit one ticket per student).

A pre-performance talk will be given by Nena Gilreath of East Athens Educational Dance Center. The talk begins at 6:45 p.m. in Room 201 of the Fine Arts Building and is open the public.

The performance is supported by Janet Rodekohr, The Owen Nelson Saveland Trust in honor of Dr. Mark Wheeler, the University of Georgia Parents Leadership Council and the University of Georgia Willson Center for Humanities & Arts.

The Fine Arts Theatre is located at 255 Baldwin St. in Athens.