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Alvin Ailey dancers head ‘Uptown’ at the Fox Theatre

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Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater will perform "Uptown" at Atlanta's Fox Theatre on Feb. 18. Photo by Paul Kolnik.

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater will perform some attention-getting choreography at the Fox Theatre the next few days, including “Uptown,” a Harlem Renaissance love letter by long-time company member Matthew Rushing, “Dancing Spirit” a tribute 20 years with Alvin Ailey director Judith Jamison and “Best of 20 Years,” excerpts from nearly 100 ballet’s she has has commissioned during her tenure.

We’re lucky to have this show in town now, with the dance company propelled forward with the momentum of a Kennedy Center Opera House performance. A review in the Washington Post said the night went from giddy to focused with “Uptown”:

“Uptown” is what so many dance companies are yearning for these days: a work that unfurls a story, with vivid characters that tell us about themselves without the help of complicated program notes but solely — and significantly — in the way they dance.

All this nostalgia mixed with new material comes to town as Jamison comes up on semi-retirement. There’s a good read in this Q &A with Jamison by AJCer Howard Pousner:

“It’s not a retirement actually, I’m just moving over. Let’s put it this way: I won’t have the title of artistic director. Remember, the idea of this company is past, present and future. I’m not going to be around for another 50 years. I’m looking for a future for this company, that’s the most important part of my decision-making.

I will still be a spirit caretaker. People need to be ready to have their ailerons opens. I’m here to give lift to this flight.”

Want to go? Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre. Feb. 18-21. $25-$55. Fox Theatre, 660 Peachtree St. N.E. 404-881-2100, www.foxtheatre.org.

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