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Susquehanna Life

Ailey II Dancers to Perform at Weis Center

Nov 03, 2015 01:49PM ● By Erica Shames

Modern dance troupe Ailey II will perform on Saturday, Nov. 7, at 7:30 p.m. at the Weis Center for the Performing Arts at Bucknell University - Lewisburg, PA.

The company will present a diverse repertory that includes three pieces: Hissy Fits (2006), Something Tangible (2015), and Revelations (1960).

Ailey II is universally renowned for merging the spirit and energy of the country's best young dance talent with the passion and creative vision of today's most outstanding emerging choreographers.

Founded in 1974, the company embodies Mr. Ailey's pioneering mission to establish an extended cultural community that provides dance performances, training, and community programs for all people.

Under the direction of Sylvia Waters, Ailey II flourished into one of the most popular dance companies in the country. With new Artistic Director Troy Powell at the helm, Ailey II will continue to thrive as he brings a fresh dimension to this beloved company.The critically-acclaimed company has a distinctive repertory that has included works by dance masters Alvin Ailey, Talley Beatty, Donald Byrd, Ulysses Dove, George W. Faison, Lar Lubovitch, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater Artistic Director Robert Battle and Artistic Director Emerita Judith Jamison.  The company has also performed innovative works by rising choreographers including Jennifer Archibald, Adam Barruch, and Kyle Abraham.

The New York Times says of the company, "Expect energy - and talent. The entire company looks terrific. Clearly, the future is theirs."

Ailey II's stage manager is Lewisburg native Chelsea Gillespie. Chelsea attended The College of Wooster and graduated with a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Theater and Sociology, Magna Cum Laude.  She was awarded the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival Stage Management Fellowship in the spring of 2013, and the William C. Craig Theatre Prize in 2014. In 2013, Ms. Gillespie served as the production assistant for The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, for both its New York City Center and Lincoln Center seasons. Ms. Gillespie has also worked as a stage manager for The John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts, The Ailey School, Bucknell University, and Satellite Collective.

About the Pieces

Hissy Fits (2006): Dwight Rhoden, the former Ailey star turned renowned choreographer, "knows how to dazzle our eyes and quicken our pulses" (Village Voice). But in this 2006 contemporary ballet, he went beyond mere virtuosic movement to depict the sometimes tumultuous and ambivalent nature of human relationships. J.S. Bach's piano music provides a powerful backdrop to the high-voltage interplay of five couples, each of whom feels the ripple effect of a series of 'hissy fits,' or uncontrollable emotional impulses, that reverberate in this work.

Something Tangible (2015): Inspired by everyday emotions that awaken and bring color to the human spirit, choreographer Ray Mercer leads the ensemble cast into a series of vignettes that reflect sensations of love, passion, fear, and self-doubt. The work features a wide range of musical styles that include artists Max Richter, Ólafur Arnalds, Geoff Bennett, and an original score by Bongi Duma.

Revelations (1960): Using African-American spirituals, song-sermons, gospel songs and holy blues - this suite fervently explores the places of deepest grief and holiest joy in the soul. Alvin 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.


Tickets for the performance are $25 for adults, $20 for seniors 62+, $15 for youth, 18 and under, $15 for Bucknell employees and retirees (limit 2), $10 for Bucknell students (limit 2), and $15 for non-Bucknell college students (limit 2). Tickets can be purchased online at or by calling 570-577-1000.

Tickets are also available in person from several locations including the Weis Center lobby (weekdays 10 a.m.-4 p.m.) and the CAP Center Box Office, located on the ground floor of the Elaine Langone Center (weekdays 10 a.m.-2 p.m.).

Please note that chamber seating will be offered for this performance in the main auditorium only. The balcony will be closed.

For more information about this performance contact Lisa Leighton, marketing and outreach director, at 570-577-3727 or

The next event in the Weis Center's 2015-16 Series is a classical performance by Munich Symphony Orchestra on Tuesday, Nov. 10, at 7:30 p.m. at the Weis Center. 

For more information about the Weis Center for the Performing Arts, visit or

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