The artwork of dance and tune shine shiny with Alvin Ailey and Tina

The artwork of dance and tune shine shiny with Alvin Ailey and Tina

Only a few cities can equal the inventive output of Atlanta throughout Black Historical past Month, and this previous celebratory season was no totally different. Among the many many native celebrations and gatherings, there have been performances of dance, theater and tune. 

The Fox Theatre, certainly one of Atlanta’s oldest and hottest efficiency venues, featured separate performances from The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and Tina: The Tina Turner Musical. 

With each reveals shifting on to different cities The Atlanta Voice editors, Stan Washington and Donnell Suggs, took time to attend performances of each reveals and have offered first-person evaluations.

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in Alvin Ailey’s “Revelations.”
Photograph by Paul Kolnik

Alvin Ailey returns and doesn’t disappoint

By Stan Washington 

The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater made its annual journey to its “second house” Atlanta with one other stellar efficiency on the Fabulous Fox Theatre, Feb. 16-19. 

Greater than 4,000 individuals attended the SatFeb. 18 matinee efficiency. My first Alvin Ailey efficiency was on the Atlanta Civic Middle within the mid-Seventies. The dancers have modified quite a few instances over the many years as have the performances – save for Revelation-  however the top quality of the performances haven’t dropped one iota, which is one motive why Alvin Ailey stays one of many premier dance corporations on the planet. 

Saturday’s 2 p.m. efficiency ended with the compulsory Revelation, which the corporate must carry out 1000 years from now. Nothing new to report right here. It was carried out flawlessly – for my part and at the very least to the liking of the devoted Ailey followers, from the look and sound of the group all through the efficiency.

This system opened up with Evening Creature created by Ailey in 1974. The three-part motion featured the music of the late musical legend Duke Ellington. Though it was created over 4 many years in the past, to lots of this multicultural viewers it might have been new materials. The costumes for the primary motion and the lighting did little to boost the efficiency by the dancers which have been on level. The costumes appear extra acceptable for the following two actions based mostly on Ellington’s music. 

The lighting and costume picked up some extra for the following two performances For 4

(2021) and Unfold (2007) each choreographed by the present inventive director Robert Battle. Battle isn’t any second-rate choreographer. His work can simply stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Ailey’s. For 4 featured the music of Wynton Marsalis. 

Unfold options the gorgeous voice of opera singer Leontyne Value and showcases the attractive actions of dancers Jacquelin Harris and Kanji Segawa. That is additionally a bit worthy to be carried out yr after yr lengthy after Battle has retired. 

It was one other sturdy efficiency and program by the corporate. I simply want for the primary motion of “Evening Creatures” they might be a bit extra artistic with the lighting and costumes. 

The identical query involves thoughts each time I watch an Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater efficiency: How are you going to not say that these dancers aren’t athletes? 

Tina options fantastic performances of most of the hits songs from each her solo profession and as a member of the Ike and Tina Turner Overview. Photograph by Donnell Suggs/The Atlanta Voice

What’s love received to do with it? The whole lot solutions “Tina”

By Donnell Suggs

Tina: The Tina Turner Musical opened on the Fox Theatre Tues., Feb. 21 and from the opening minutes of the present there was an power venerating from the bought out crowd of 4,600-plus that I may really feel from my seat. From the music to the performances from that night time’s Turner, actress Zurin Villanueva (Noami Rodgers additionally performs Turner on different nights), Tina is worthy of all the hype that surrounded the present. Actually, it was higher than marketed.

The opening act begins with Turner as a toddler singing at church in Nutbush, Tennessee. Performed brilliantly by Ayvah Johnson, younger Anna Mae Bullock stole the present each time she was on stage. The heartbreaks which have famously been shared about Turner’s childhood and life as a younger singer married to an abusive Ike Turner present up all through the efficiency. It’s too dangerous  the present doesn’t veer in one other course, however the narrative of Turner beating the percentages and rebuilding her profession as one of many largest solo artists on the planet is the story that continues to draw paying clients. Garrett Turner’s work as Ike Turner was wonderful, notably when he was in bandleader mode. There’s little doubt he watches hours of video of Turner at work.

The opening act of Tina is sort of twice so long as the second act and contains performances of classics like “Nutbush Metropolis Limits”,  “Shake a Tailfeather,” and a “Idiot in Love.” The dance strikes and choreography of the Villenueva as Tina and the attractive Ikettes performed by Aliyah Caldwell, Reyna Guerra, Takia Hopson and Parris Lewis, have been astonishing. Pull up a Youtube video of the actual Tina Turner and the Ikettes performing, “Idiot in Love” and there’s little or no distinction. Except the shut of the present, the performances by Tina with the Ikettes have been the most effective factor about Tina. 

The primary act ends with “I Don’t Wanna Combat No Extra,” which is misplaced in Turner’s precise timeline however properly positioned within the movement of the present.

The present wasn’t completely flawless although, as Act II opens with “Non-public Dancer,” certainly one of Turner’s most well-known songs and the title observe to her 1984 album. With the entire understanding that the play is written by Pulitzer successful playwright Katori Corridor and has to abide the ebbs and flows of a play, the “Non-public Dancer” portion of the play alludes to Turner having to bop for a dwelling, when truly the tune got here at a time when she was her strongest and free. As an enormous fan of Turner and notably of that tune, I didn’t perceive or get pleasure from that efficiency. 

The present closes with a robust efficiency of “(Merely) The Greatest”, however when Villanueva sang “What’s Love Obtained to Do With It” and “We Don’t Want One other Hero” her presents as a songstress shined the brightest. The present is value seeing only for these two performances alone. 

Tina is a superb present of respect for one of many world’s biggest stay performers. It’s undoubtedly value seeing once more…and once more.

Opening night time ofTina at The Fox Theatre was filled with followers trying to hear and see the efficiency, Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2023.
Photograph by Donnell Suggs/The Atlanta Voice

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