Ailey to launch tour at Mechanic, but troupe will delay residency

January 08, 1991|By Eric Siegel

Tickets to three mid-February Baltimore performances by the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater go on sale Sunday, but a four-week residency here by the acclaimed company, originally scheduled to begin this month, has been delayed until April, company officials said yesterday.

The performances at the Morris A. Mechanic Theatre Feb. 14, 15 and 16 -- which will kick off the company's 1991 North American tour -- were conceived as the culmination of a monthlong residency that was to have begun next week.

But Laura Beaumont, spokeswoman for the New York-based company, said scheduling problems and the need to give the dancers a vacation this month pushed the residency back to spring.

The residency -- which will include workshops and demonstrations at schools and community centers -- will roughly coincide with a series of performances around the state by the Alvin Ailey Repertory Ensemble, the company's junior troupe.

Ms. Beaumont said the main company would concentrate its activities in and around Baltimore, while the junior troupe would be involved in "outreach around the state."

The "Rep" is scheduled to appear in Hyattsville on April 22; Princess Anne on April 24; Salisbury on April 25 and Ellicott City on April 26 and 27, she said.

The main company will return to Maryland in June as part of the Columbia Festival of the Arts.

The Ailey residency, two years in the making, began with master classes in October at Morgan State University by artistic director Judith Jamison and will include AileyCamp, a summer dance camp for underserved youths.

Tickets to the Ailey performances at the Mechanic Theatre, ranging in price from $25 to $40, will be available through the Mechanic box office or via TeleCharge at (301) 625-1400.

Reservations for a gala opening night celebration that includes a pre-concert reception at the Mechanic, the performance and post-show Valentine's Day party at the Omni Hotel are being accepted by the Alvin Ailey Dance Theater Foundation of Maryland, which is supporting the company's activities in the state. Tickets are $250 per person; a $100 ticket that includes the performance and party is also available. Approximately 500 of the Mechanic's 1,600 seats will be set aside for the celebration; for more information, call the foundation at 962-5340.

The Baltimore performances will include revivals of Alvin Ailey's "Hermit Songs" and "Hidden Rites" and four works which the company premiered last season in New York.

The troupe, whose founder died a little over a year ago, has achieved worldwide recognition for its ability to convey the Afro-American experience through a style that includes jazz, classical ballet and modern dance.

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