Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater Makes Film Debut

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DAnceFor one-night only on October 22, the magic of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater will makes its way to the big screen.

According to AAADT Artistic Director Robert Battle, the company was selected to be one of the companies featured in Lincoln Center at the Movies: Great American Dance, a film that will showcase rare footage to include live performances, exclusive interviews with the dancers, and appearances of Battle rehearsing some of the dancers.

“We’ve been talking with Lincoln Center for a few years to secure the support to make the project happen. The project is part of a broader mission to bringing dance to as wide an audience as possible,” Battle said in an exclusive interview with TNJ.com.

He adds, “We are excited about the outcome as we continue to look for other ways to cultivate new audiences. People who see the film might have otherwise never been exposed to dance. You will see interviews and what goes on during intermission when you attend an Ailey performance. It is unprecedented to have a film like this in theaters.”

The film, recorded in June and directed by Matthew Diamond, will be shown in approximately 600 movie theaters across the nation.

“I think what’s really beautiful about the film is that you can hear dancers talk about how they feel on different topics. That’s nice to hear. It’s a real behind-the-scenes effect. I haven’t seen the entire film but based on feedback from the Ailey Company, it’s different from watching the live performances, which are somewhat limiting. In the film, the cameras capture live moments that you can’t experience otherwise. You will also hear Robert [Battle] speaking to the dancers backstage,” Linda Celeste Sims, AAADT dancer, told TNJ.com.

Sims, who has been with Ailey since 1996, notes that the footage was captured in June, live, in front of a live audience within two weeks of shows.

Battle says that while it’s not definite, a DVD might be available in the future.

Film highlights include, Battle’s Takademe, Ronald K. Brown’s Grace, Wayne McGregor’s Chroma, and Alvin Ailey’s iconic masterpiece Revelations.

Tickets can be purchased at Lincoln Center’s At the Movies website.

(CLICK HERE for another article about AAADT.)