Dancing the 92nd Street Y celebrates 92NY’s 150th Anniversary with a program of modern dance companies who formed there: Limón Dance Company, Ailey II, and Martha Graham Dance Company, paired with choreography by former Ailey dancers Omar Román de Jesús, Jamar Roberts, and Hope Boykin; in Kaufmann Concert Hall at the 92nd Street Y in Manhattan’s Upper East Side; on Tuesday, March 12, 2024 at 7:30pm. From $30. 92ny.org 🇺🇸 🇲🇽 🇵🇷
It’s worth mentioning that modern dance was the transition from the strict forms of classical ballet to the freer forms of contemporary dance. This show features some of the companies who broke the mold and changed dance forever.
Dancing the 92nd Street Y
The 92nd Street Y, New York is a community and cultural center that supports all communities from a foundation of Jewish values. It’s one of the places in New York City where modern dance developed.
Each of the dance companies in this performance started at the 92nd Street Y before developing into modern dance legends.
92NY gave young dancers a home to develop their art before they were famous, and in a time when few theaters supported artists of color. It’s one of the mothers of modern dance, and continues developing young dancers today.
Limón Dance Company
Limón Dance Company performs:
- “There is a Time” (1956) by José Limón, an ensemble work inspired by the Bible’s Book of Ecclesiastes, set to music by Pulitzer Prize-winner Norman Dello Joio.
- “Like Those Playground Kids at Midnight,” by Puerto Rican choreographer Omar Román De Jesús, is a duet for two men. If you ever lived near a New York City playground, you know it is still full of kids at midnight.
Limón Dance Company is the legacy of Mexican American modern dance pioneer José Limón (1908-1972). His Limón Technique is a very organic method that uses fall and recovery, breath control, and contrasts of weight with weightlessness. It is still taught today. In fact many great New York dancers come from Limón Technique. limon.nyc 🇲🇽
Omar Román De Jesús; originally from Bayamón, Puerto Rico; is an award-winning choreographer who trained on scholarship at The Ailey School. He currently dances with Yin Yue Dance Company, a company inspired by Chinese folk and contemporary dance movement. @bocatuya____ 🇵🇷
Martha Graham Dance Company
Martha Graham Dance Company performs:
- “Appalachian Spring Suite” is highlights from “Appalachian Spring,” a narrated dance of Martha Graham in conversation with Aaron Copland that lets the audience into the creative process of two giants of the arts.
- An excerpt of new Jamar Roberts.
Martha Graham (1894-1991) is one of the names most famously associated with modern dance. TIME magazine called her “Dancer of the Century.” She founded her dance company in 1926. Her technique uses contraction and release to express human emotion. She developed many famous choreographers, taught many famous actors how to use their bodies, worked with the great artists of the day, and changed dance forever. marthagraham.org @marthagrahamdance
Jamar Roberts danced with Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater from 2002-2021. He was Resident Choreographer from 2019-2022. The Bessie Award-winner for “Outstanding Performer” danced with Complexions Contemporary Ballet. He was named by Dance Magazine “25 to Watch.” @7jlr27
Ailey II performs:
- “Blues Suite” (1958), by Alvin Ailey, is the ballet that launched Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in 1958. It’s considered his first masterpiece, the work in which Ailey found his voice. Set in a juke joint, men and women, drink, flirt, and dance to the blues on a Saturday night until the church bells start ringing on Sunday morning. It is the counterpart to his signature work, “Revelations” (1960).
- A Hope Boykin World Premiere.
Ailey II is Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s second company. Alvin Ailey (1931-1989) was an African American dancer and choreographer. His Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater is the dance company that popularized modern dance around the world. It’s a modern dance company that performs at the level of the world’s best ballet companies. The physicality and technique of Ailey dancers is unsurpassed, but there is something about their performances that can only be described as spiritual. alvinailey.org @aileyii
Hope Boykin danced for Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater from 2000 to 2020. Coming up, the Bessie award-winner was an assistant to Talley Beatty, one of the great African American choreographers. She was an original member of Complexions dance company and a member of PHILADANCO! hopeboykindance.com @hbdance
Get tickets at 92ny.org