DETROIT (Tell Us Det) - The internationally acclaimed Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater performed with rhythm and grace before an audience of over 600 hundred Detroit high school students Friday morning at the Detroit Opera House; the company is in town this weekend as part of their 34-city tour.
Following their performance before students from the Detroit International Academy and other schools, Tell Us Detroit was invited to interview two of company’s first year dancers, Demetia Hopkins and Daniel Harper.
The initiation of new dancers into the Alvin Ailey company is not complete until they have appeared “Revelations” the classic piece choreographed by Alvin Ailey himself in 1958 and which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.
“It was nerve wrecking” is how Demetia Hopkins and Daniel Harder described their first experience of performing the signature choreography; “Revelations” is a suite of dance pieces set to Negro spirituals that speak of life’s trials and tribulations.
The training to become a member of a professional dance company led Hopkins and Harder to each earn Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees from The Ailey School and Fordham University in New York City.
Hopkins says her Uncle gave her the final push to pursue a career in dance, while an attraction to hip-hop moves is what caught Harder’s spirit, and an early passion for movement. While the dancers are just completing their first year with Alvin Ailey, they expressed a genuine devotion and appreciation of the history upon which they stand.
Devotees of dance that fuses modern, jazz, African American and Latin American styles should not miss the opportunity Alvin Ailey Dance Theater this weekend at the Detroit Opera Theater, and a chance to see Demetia Hopkins and Daniel Harder perform.