Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, one of the world’s most popular dance companies, will return to the UK for the first time in six years and presents an exhilarating mixed bill of dance at Wales Millennium Centre on Tuesday 4 & Wednesday 5 October during its UK tour 2016. Celebrating the human spirit through the African-American cultural experience and the American modern dance tradition, Ailey’s performances, under the leadership of Artistic Director Robert Battle, form the perfect edition to the Black History Month line-up taking place across Wales throughout October.

Founded in 1958, the company is recognised by the U.S. Congress as a vital American “Cultural Ambassador to the World.” In almost six decades, Ailey’s artists have performed for over 25 million people in 71 countries on six continents and continue to wow audiences and critics around the world.

Commenting about the Company’s return to the UK, Ailey’s Artistic Director Robert Battle said:I’m proud to continue Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s legacy of extensive international tours with my inaugural visit leading the Company’s extraordinary dancers through the United Kingdom. Presented by Dance Consortium six years after they so successfully last welcomed Ailey, we’ll share a diverse repertory of works including several UK premieres.  I’m excited for audiences old and new to experience the uplifting performances that have inspired people the world over, fulfilling Mr. Ailey’s belief that ‘Dance came from the people and should always be delivered back to the people.

Head of Programming at Wales Millennium Centre, Louise Miles-Crust, said: “After a 6 year absence from the UK, I’m extremely excited Alvin Ailey Dance Theater, one of the world’s most exciting and inspiring modern dance companies, will be performing at the Centre as part of their UK tour.  From British Dance Edition to the Mariinsky Ballet and Matthew Bourne’s Sleeping Beauty, 2016 has been an exceptional year for dance at the Centre, bringing the very best in national and international dance across a wide range of genres to audiences in Wales. Alvin Ailey, with their fresh, modern style and wide audience appeal, will bring this year’s season of dance at the Centre to a breath-taking conclusion.”

The Wales Millennium Centre programme will include UK premieres by two of today’s most acclaimed choreographers: the uplifting Exodus by hip hop choreographer Rennie Harris; and the spiritual journey of Four Corners by Ronald K. Brown. A company UK premiere, the dreamlike duet After the Rain Pas de Deux by Christopher Wheeldon, will also be performed during the Cardiff evening.

Drawing the programme to a close will be Revelations by Alvin Ailey. The beloved crowd-pleaser, the most widely-seen modern dance work in the world, will be performed by the incomparable Ailey dancers. Revelations premiered in 1960 and continues to bring audiences all around the world to their feet.

The Ailey CARDIFF 2016 programme, which is subject to alteration, will be as follows:

Four Corners / Exodus / After the Rain Pas de Deux / Revelations

UK Premieres

 Exodus (2015) Choreography by Rennie Harris / Music: Original compositions by Raphael Xavier, “A New Deal” by Ost & Kjex. Acclaimed hip-hop choreographer Rennie (Lorenzo) Harris created a work that explores the idea of “exodus” – from one’s ignorance and conformity – as a necessary step toward enlightenment. Set to gospel and house music along with spoken word, the work underscores the crucial role of action and movement in effecting change. Exemplifying his view of hip hop as a “celebration of life”, Exodus marks Harris’ latest invitation to return to spiritual basics and affirm who we are. His previous contributions to the Ailey repertory include Home (2011) and Love Stories (2004), Judith Jamison’s dynamic collaboration with Harris and Robert Battle.

Four Corners (2013) Choreographer: Ronald K. Brown    / Music: Carl Hancock Rux, Yacoub & Various Artists. Four Corners brings to life the vision of four angels standing on the four corners of the earth holding the four winds. Drawing inspiration from the lyrics of Rux’s Lamentations, Four Corners trails 11 dancers as they rise to seek a life of peace on the “mountaintop”; a powerful and hope-filled journey of tribulation, devotion and triumph.

Company UK premiere

After the Rain Pas de Deux (2005 / Ailey Company Premiere 2014) Choreography by Christopher Wheeldon / Music: Arvo Pärt. An instant hit at New York City Ballet in 2005, Christopher Wheeldon’s dreamlike duet – praised for its sublime simplicity and intricate partnering – is revealed in a fresh light as the Ailey dancers make it their own. Set to music by the Estonian composer Arvo Pärt, the sensual male‐female pas de deux has resonated deeply with audiences and marked the first work by Christopher Wheeldon to enter the Ailey repertory.

Ailey Classic

Revelations (1960) Choreography by Alvin Ailey / Music: Traditional Spirituals. More than just a popular dance work, Revelations has become a cultural treasure, beloved by generations of fans. An American classic acclaimed as a must-see for all, Alvin Ailey’s signature masterpiece is a tribute to his heritage and genius. Using African-American spirituals, the work fervently explores the places of deepest grief and holiest joy in the soul. Seeing Revelations for the first time or the hundredth can be a transcendent experience, with audiences cheering, singing along and dancing in their seats from the opening notes of the plaintive I Been ’Buked to the rousing Wade in the Water and the triumphant finale, Rocka My Soul in the Bosom of Abraham.



Tue 4 & Wed 5 October at 7.30pm

Wales Millennium Centre CARDIFF

Tickets: 029 2063 6464

NEWS: @TheCentre @Mattbourne1 @New_Adventures bringing Tim Burton’s Edward Scissorhands to the stage

Matthew Bourne brings the Tim Burton classic Edward Scissorhands to the stage

Devised, directed and choreographed by Matthew Bourne, Edward Scissorhands returns to Wales Millennium Centre from 10 to 14 March 2015.

Based on the classic Tim Burton film and featuring the beautiful and unforgettable music by Danny Elfman and Terry Davies, this touching love story tells the bittersweet story of a boy created by a lonely inventor who dies leaving him alone and unfinished. Left with only scissors for hands, Edward must find his place in a strange suburban world where the well-meaning community struggle to see past his appearance to the innocence and gentleness within.

The role of Edward will be shared between Dominic North and Liam Mower. Dominic North returns to the role that won him a National Dance Award nomination as Best Male Dancer in 2009. Making his debut as Edward this season, Liam Mower was recently seen in Billy Elliot Live as “Older Billy” when he returned to the show that made his name. This will be Liam’s 5th show with New Adventures, having recently played The Prince in Swan Lake and Count Lilac in Sleeping Beauty.

Playing Edward’s sweetheart, Kim Boggs, will be Ashley Shaw and Katy Lowenhoff. Ashley has played the Principal roles of Aurora in Sleeping Beauty, Sugar in Nutcracker! and the title role in Cinderella (all for New Adventures). Katy has become a popular New Adventures performer through her performances as Clara in Nutcracker! and her created role as “Hibernia” in Sleeping Beauty.

Etta Murfitt, Associate Director of New Adventures will play the role of Peg Boggs, shared with Madelaine Brennan. Also appearing in this production are Saranne Curtin, Tom Clark, Dominic Lamb, Leon Moran, Tim Hodges, Jack Jones, Danny Collins, Gavin Persand, Gareth Charloton, Cindy Ciunfrini, Tom Davies, Pia Driver, Nicole Kabera, Mari Kamata, Daisy May Kemp, Dena Lague, Chris Neumann, Edwin Ray, Will Bozier, Steph Elstob, Harry Francis, Bethany Pike, Katelyn Severn, Alex Sturman and Katie Webb.

Edward Scissorhands is at Wales Millennium Centre from 10 to 14 March 2015. Tickets range from £18.50 – £36.50. Premium seats are available. Age Guidance: 5+ (No under 2s). For more information and booking, or call the ticket office on 02920 636464.


NEWS: @CardiffCityFC gets dance tips at @TheCentre

Cardiff City Football Club to receive tips and techniques from the dancing world to get a new edge to their game

 Cardiff City FC are to attend a specially tailored, dance-inspired workshop on Tuesday 26th November at Wales Millennium Centre. The workshop, led by the director and company members from performing arts company Clod Ensemble will be attended by players and staff from across the senior, development and under-18 teams. The workshop marks the start of Clod Ensemble’s Performing Medicine: The Anatomy Season at Wales Millennium Centre.

While football and dance might initially appear at very opposite ends of the physical spectrum, they still hold plenty in common, with both relying heavily on coordination, teamwork, balance, strength, intention, dexterity, creativity and stamina. Planning formations on a pitch could be considered a form of choreography.

In this workshop footballers and dancers will explore what movement vocabularies they share, what they can learn from each other and what we can learn about anatomy by comparing the physicality of highly skilled dancers and footballers.

Through the collaboration, players, coaches and physiotherapists from Cardiff FC and dancers from Clod Ensemble, will share ideas as to how best to prepare the body and mind before stepping out onto the pitch or the stage.

Outlining her hopes for the specially devised workshop, Suzy Willson, director of Clod Ensemble, said: ‘Football has often been called the beautiful game – we look forward to finding out whether the grace of the players translates from the football pitch to dance studio, and perhaps our knowledge about movement and creativity might find it’s only valuable place out on the pitch.’

Cardiff City’s Head of Performance Richard Collinge MCSP SRP, said of the event: ‘Cardiff City is pleased to be collaborating with Clod Ensemble on this exciting project. We look forward to working together again in the future, as we look to further explore the physical and psychological similarities and overlaps between the performing arts and professional football. We thank Wales Millennium Centre for their invitation and drive in putting this project together.’

The workshop is the perfect example of Clod Ensemble’s capacity to unleash the diverse potential of performance and movement in a range of different contexts. It also marks the start of Clod Ensemble’s Performing Medicine: The Anatomy Season, in association with Wales Millennium Centre, a series of conversations, performances and workshops inspired by the theme of anatomy (26 Nov – 7 Dec). An innovative programme of events, Performing Medicine: The Anatomy Season fuses expressive dance, original music scores, visual art, history and medicine in order to explore what goes on under the skin and present an inspiring, illuminating interpretation of the wonders of the human form.

For further information on Performing Medicine: The Anatomy Season and to book tickets, visit call 029 2063 6464.