Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater presents

No Longer Silent

Robert Battle’s dramatic ensemble work No Longer Silent, set to Erwin Schulhoff’s percussive score “Ogelala,” features dancers evoking a complex and mysterious ritual.

Originally created in 2007 for The Juilliard School, Battle’s alma mater, the work was part of a concert of choreography that brought to life long-forgotten scores by composers whose work the Nazis had banned.

Powerful phrases stir the imagination with images of flight and fatigue, chaos and unity, and collectivity and individualism as dancers, clad in all black, travel in military rows. The music, created between 1922 and 1925, provides an ever-shifting mechanical cadence against which the work builds dramatically to a piercing conclusion. The Company premiere of this work was presented in conjunction with the 70th anniversary, in 2015, of the liberation of concentration camps Auschwitz and Buchenwald which marked the end of the Holocaust. Denied employment after the Germans occupied Czechoslovakia, Schulhoff was prevented from emigrating and died of tuberculosis in the Wülzburg concentration camp in 1942.

“It’s arguably Mr. Battle’s strongest piece, and the most major one that he’s set on the Ailey troupe so far. Battle echoes the rhythmic complexity of the music in his ritualistic choreography that is reminiscent of the early works of Martha Graham and, in many moments, the theatricality of Paul Taylor, yet this dance retains its taut point of view to the end.” –The New York Times

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater grew from a now-fabled performance in March 1958 at the 92nd Street Y in New York City. Led by Alvin Ailey and a group of young African-American modern dancers, that performance changed forever the perception of American dance.

The Ailey company has gone on to perform for an estimated 25 million people at theaters in 48 states and 71 countries on six continents – as well as millions more through television broadcasts, film screenings, and online platforms.

In 2008, a U.S. Congressional resolution designated the Company as “a vital American cultural ambassador to the world” that celebrates the uniqueness of the African-American cultural experience and the preservation and enrichment of the American modern dance heritage. When Mr. Ailey began creating dances, he drew upon his “blood memories” of Texas, the blues, spirituals, and gospel as inspiration, which resulted in the creation of his most popular and critically acclaimed work, Revelations. Although he created 79 ballets over his lifetime, Mr. Ailey maintained that his company was not exclusively a repository for his own work.

Today, the Company continues Mr. Ailey’s mission by presenting important works of the past and commissioning new ones. In all, more than 235 works by over 90 choreographers have been part of the Ailey company’s repertory.

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