Venue: The Lowry
Where: Salford

Although Ailey 2 is a young dance company the members have chosen a programme that shows how the past can influence the present and determine the future.

Shards is the least successful piece; Donald Byrd’s chorography limits the interaction between the twelve members of the company and so hinders the emotional involvement of the audience. Mio Morales’ chilly industrial jazz score exacerbates this sense of isolation.

Echoes makes a much greater impact. Driven by the insistent strings of Ezio Bosso the company enact the journey of choreographer Thang Dao’s family from Vietnam to the USA. Weaving together the company represent aspects of the characters and the challenges that they faced. Imaginative chorography has sequences performed in near-darkness and the company dancing in silhouette.

The centrepiece of the evening is Revelations choreographed by the founder of the company Alvin Ailey. Audaciously this illustrates the history and experiences of black Americans using Gospel music as backing. It manages to convey the mood of the music through sequences of contemplation, devotion, ecstasy and sensuality.

The young cast perform as number of challenging dance moves including striking tableau and an inspirational baptism. The climax transforms a group of gossipy Southern ladies through a dance of powerful sensuality.

Considering that Ailey 2 comprises scholarship students of the Ailey School., one cannot wait to see how well they perform in maturity.

 - Dave Cunningham