Review – Alvin Ailey – Sadler’s Wells 2007


Islington on a Saturday at the end of summer -what a great place to be! We started at the Charles Lamb pub (awesome, and with Breton cider). We visited with a friend and chatted right up until we needed to head out to dinner.

This is where things went downhill. Having had problems with the debit card at the bar (over £10 only), I thought that we might also have problems at the pizza place, since we were trying to keep it cheap and just share a pie (I think we way overspent last week and I’m trying to rein it in). While J was waiting for the pizza, I walked up the street looking for an ATM – and walked, and walked, and walked. I finally turned around and went back. The pizza was done, the bill was ready, and their minimum was £15. The waiter did helpfully point me to the Tesco across from the park (I hadn’t seen it) for my cash-getting needs. So I went there … and discovered I actually didn’t have my freaking bank card with me. Suffice it to say that after J made his run to the bank and we got the pizza to the park, it was stone fucking cold and not very good and I was in a bad, bad, bad mood. Damn this fucking overpriced city. I was going to have a pleasant cheap dinner at Masala Zone but just really didn’t want to spend $40 again for food, and instead I got shitty food and my evening was royally screwed up. All I wanted to do is sell my tickets to Alvin Ailey and call it quits for the day.

We went anyway, and, well, I got caught up in the show enough to have a good time. It was a really good program, including a work that had had its world premiere just a few days earlier. This piece, “The Groove to Nobody’s Business” by Camille Brown, had some interesting movement – people waiting at a bus stop, people riding the subway – and a lot of very sharply drawn characters, but for some reason it felt rather a lot like a museum piece, in the same way Martha Graham’s stuff did. I was shocked to find out it was brand new! Much more entrancing was “The Road of The Phoebe Snow,” which, even though it was fifty years old, managed to utterly pull me into its story. Rarely do dances actually having me thinking about what is going on in the “characters’ ” heads, because normally dances don’t really have “characters” and “acting,” especially really modern stuff.

The audience was delightfully very racially mixed (a real oddity at most dance performances I go to), though per J it was actually only 30% non-Caucasian. I also was suprised to run into a coworker, “Vesh” or something, who’d I’d just met at the leaving drinks thing I’d gone to on Friday. Why in the world didn’t I ever find anyone who wanted to socialize with me while I was there? It’s all a bit late now. It was a very lonely job. Two more days …

(This review is for a performance that took place on September 8th, 2007.)


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One Response to “Review – Alvin Ailey – Sadler’s Wells 2007”

  1. Mini-review – Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater – 2010 visit to Sadler’s Wells « Life in the Cheap Seats – Webcowgirl’s London theatre reviews Says:

    […] and both programs featured a repeat of a major (and very old work) they did then. (I also saw them in London in 2007, for the record.) But then I was clued into a live broadcast at the White House of a dance program […]

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