Ailey 2 heads to Birmingham Hippodrome for first UK tour in over a decade


Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater's second company is returning to Birmingham Hippodrome on Tuesday 3 and Wednesday 4 October as part of its first UK tour since 2011.

Ailey 2, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this season, is known for bringing together the creative vision of exceptional choreographers with the spirit, energy and talent of the next generation of dance artists. The result is captivating performances of grace, strength and soul, shot through with the unique Ailey spirit.

Presented by Dance Consortium, the 12-venue tour will see America’s next generation of dancers perform an exhilarating repertoire pulled together by the company’s new artistic director, Francesca Harper.

The four pieces of work include excerpts from Harper’s own Freedom Series and William Forsythe’s Enemy in the Figure along with The Hunt, choreographed by Robert Battle, artistic director of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, and Revelations¸ Alvin Ailey’s 1960 masterwork and signature piece of all the Ailey companies.

Inspired by her Ailey homecoming, Harper’s 2021 work, Freedom Series, is a landscape of memories; a hybrid world where the past strives to influence the future. Developed in collaboration with the Ailey 2 dancers, Harper’s work examines identity and community. Freedom Series unexpected twists and turns bring tender moments to its intrinsic ferocity.

The central section of William Forsythe’s 1989 work, Enemy in the Figure puts the formidable dance skills of the Ailey 2 dancers on fine display, giving their craft and vitality an invigorating framework. The choreography is driven by Thom Willem’s percussive and rhythmic electronic score which also influences the use of light and shadow in its design.

Robert Battle’s 2001 work, The Hunt, is a primal ritual with a distinctly urban feel fuelled by a thundering percussion soundtrack by Les Tambours du Bronx. This athletic work explores the relationship between modern sports and the rites of the gladiators, revealing the predatory side of human nature and the primitive thrill of the hunt.

Alvin Ailey’s beloved masterpiece, Revelations, has been seen by more than 23 million people in 71 countries, more than any other modern dance work. Using African American spirituals, song sermons, gospel songs and holy blues, Revelations explores the deepest reaches of the soul.

Ailey 2 is at Birmingham Hippodrome on Tuesday 3 October and Wednesday 4 October. Tickets can be booked online at birminghamhippodrome.com or by calling the box office on 0844 338 5000*

Press Release