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Zita Allen

Stories by Zita

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Ntozake Shange: A colored girl for whom the rainbow is not enuf Pt. 1

It has been awhile since Ntozake Shange’s paradigm-shifting “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow Is Enuf” exploded onto the theatrical scene in 1973, introducing a provocative new voice and unique genre—the choreopoem.

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Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s 2016 winter season sizzles

The power of dance to unite and inspire us while shining a light on important issues will take center stage when the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater explodes onto New York City’s Center Stage (Nov. 30- Dec. 31) with a sizzling mix of thrilling dances, awesome dancers and mesmerizing music, all of which promise to warm your heart and make your soul dance.

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Netherlands Dans Theater boasts Bronx native Prince Credell

Nov. 16, the famed Netherlands Dans Theater swings into New York’s City Center for a brief season (Nov. 16-19) that highlights the qualities that earned it an international reputation for pushing dance’s boundaries, namely, bold repertory and what one critic called “the world’s most magnificent dancers displaying a retina-shredding sxpectacle of passion and power.”

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Misty Copeland on ABT’s fall season, diversity in ballet

Misty Copeland’s performance at American Ballet Theatre’s fall 2016 Gala Thursday, Oct. 20, was a delightful display of classical ballet at its most technically challenging and musically responsive.

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Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation celebrates roof-breaking, design of new wing

Since 2005, home for the Alvin Ailey American Dance Foundation has been a sleek, glass-enclosed building on the northwest corner of West 55th Street and Ninth Avenue in Manhattan known as the Joan Weill Center for Dance.

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Talented black dance artists among 2016 Princess Grace awardees

An unusually large number of young gifted Black dancers and choreographers are among the recently announced recipients of the coveted 2016 Princess Grace Awards.

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Former AileyCamper, now Ailey member Solomon Dumas affirms program’s value

Thursday, Aug. 11, more than 100 youngsters will take the stage at Hostos Center for Arts & Culture for a festive performance that caps their six-week summer at CAS/AileyCamp New York.

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Maurice Hines talks ‘Tappin’ Thru Life’

“Maurice Hines Tappin’ Thru Life” is back! That delicious jazz- and tap-filled musical treat that enjoyed a limited Broadway run earlier this year is coming to Lincoln Center’s Damrosch Park July 28, for one night only.

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Misty Copeland’s first full season as ABT principal ballerina

This year, American Ballet Theater’s spring season marked a historic milestone. It was the first full season for the first African-American principal ballerina in that company’s 75-year history, Misty Copeland.

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Camille A. Brown: Exploring the Black Girl Spectrum

Choreographer Camille A. Brown stands in front of a group of Black women and girls who are hanging on her every word and movement.

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Dancer pursues passion despite diagnosis

A recent Intel commercial opens with the shadowy image of a Black female dancer in midair, like a cannonball caught in midflight, her Afroed silhouette illuminated by an electric blue backdrop.

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American Ballet Theater’s Project Plié: Making ballet dreams come true for children of color

An inconspicuous building in Manhattan’s Flatiron District is not only headquarters to the American Ballet Theater but also a wonderland of sorts for some 22 children of color enrolled in the JKO School Children’s Division Bridge Class, which is a local component ABT’s national Project Plié initiative.

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Ailey begins Lincoln Center season

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater Artistic Director Robert Battle has announced the program for the company’s two-week Lincoln Center season, June 8-19, and it is a jam-packed choreographic grab bag featuring more than a dozen works on five different programs.

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Ailey begins Lincoln Center season

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater Artistic Director Robert Battle has announced the program for the company’s two-week Lincoln Center season, June 8-19, and it is a jam-packed choreographic grab bag featuring more than a dozen works on five different programs.

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DanceAfrica 2016: A celebration in movement, rhythm and spirit

This Memorial Day weekend, the 39th annual DanceAfrica celebration promises to fill the Brooklyn Academy of Music and its surrounding community with a dynamic display of dance, music, film, food, fashion and more as it has done since it was founded in 1977 by Baba Chuck Davis, but this time there’s something different.

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Misty Copeland poised to take flight

This is an amazing time for ballerina Misty Copeland. On May 2, one of the world’s largest toy manufacturers, Mattel, launched a Misty Copeland Barbie Doll as part of its “Sheroes” program, honoring female heroes who inspire girls and women “by breaking boundaries and expanding possibilities.”

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Savion Glover brings new musical to Broadway

When “Shuffle Along or the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed” opens this month at the Music Box Theatre, it won’t be tap dancer Savion Glover’s first time on Broadway.

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Misty Copeland, Virginia Johnson discuss ballet, diversity

Misty Copeland and Virginia Johnson took center stage seats before a standing-room-only audience at Dance/NYC’s recent symposium on diversity and inclusion in dance.

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Dance Theatre of Harlem: Celebrating diversity, dancing beyond barriers

As the talented members of Dance Theatre of Harlem pirouette, jeté, leap, run or just walk on stage during its New York City Center season (April 6-9 ) dazzling and delighting audiences, they will also be celebrating the company’s 45-year tradition of helping to, among other things, shatter one of America’s most enduring artistic glass ceilings.

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Diversity in dance: The new hot topic

Diversity and inclusion in dance is a hot topic that has reached critical mass, bubbling over from the insular dance world into mainstream media.

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Tribute held for iconic dancer Dudley Williams

“Love, Forever Dudley,” the recent tribute to Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater soloist Dudley Williams, had all the warmth of a loving family reunion.

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Celebrating the life of Alvin Ailey on his 85th birthday

On Jan. 5, the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater celebrated what would have been the 85th birthday of the man who founded the world-renowned company in 1958 and changed the face of American dance forever.

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Judith Jamison talks life, dance and AAADT

On New Year’s Eve, the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater will celebrate with a 50th anniversary tribute to Artistic Director Emerita Judith Jamison.

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The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater: The gift that keeps on giving

Dec. 2, the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater swept on stage at New York’s City Center exuding warmth, radiating brilliance and lighting up the night. If this opening night of its five-week winter season is any indication, audiences are in for a real treat.

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Pioneer Arthur Mitchell donates archives to Columbia

Arthur Mitchell, the pioneering ballet dancer, artistic director and choreographer who, in the 1950s, became the first African-American principal dancer with the New York City Ballet, was celebrated at Columbia University Oct. 27 and 28.

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Donald Byrd talks about ‘The Minstrel Show Revisited’

When Donald Byrd’s “The Minstrel Show Revisited” is presented at NYU’s Skirball Center for the Performing Arts Wednesday, Oct. 28 through Friday, Oct. 30, it will be a perfect example, not of art imitating life, but of art illuminating life.

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Misty Copeland: The interview Pt. 2

And we’re back with Part 2, as promised, of the Misty Copeland interview with Amsterdam News. So let’s read on!

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Misty Copeland: The interview Pt. 1

We sit down for an interview with ballerina Misty Copeland.

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AileyCamp celebrates 25 years

On Aug. 13, at Hostos Community College, some 100 youngsters, 11 to 14 years of age, burst onto the stage of the main theater in a program bristling with energy, enthusiasm and talent, demonstrating not only what they learned but also how much fun they had during a six-week stint this summer at CAS/AileyCamp

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Over the moon for Misty Copeland in ‘On the Town’

In the lead up to Misty Copeland’s Aug. 25 debut in the Broadway musical “On the Town” at the Lyric Theatre, anticipation-inducing announcements of her limited engagement were everywhere.

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‘The Wiz’: George Faison celebrates a legendary hit

Tony Award-winning choreographer George Faison perches on the edge of his seat in front of the mirrored wall of his Harlem rehearsal studio.

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Misty Copeland, Carmen de Lavallade, Raven Wilkinson discuss race, ballet

Friday, July 17, still aglow from the promotion that made her the first African-American principal ballerina with American Ballet Theater, Misty Copeland joined three other remarkable artists for a frank, informative and inspiring discussion of ballet and Black women, barriers and breakthroughs.

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Celebrating the life of Geoffrey Holder

Geoffrey Holder, the creative genius whose career spanned 50 years and dazzled us with a limitless talent, energetic exuberance and captivating charisma, will be honored in a series of celebrations on his birthday, Aug. 1.

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Black ballerinas reflect on Misty Copeland’s historic ‘Swan Lake’ debut

As the opening strains of Tchaikovsky’s “Swan Lake” filled the sold-out Metropolitan Opera House, a dancer in white flitted across the dimly lit stage, with its backdrop of a shimmering blue lake, and disappeared.

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Misty Copeland becomes ABT’s first African-American principal ballerina

When American Ballet Theatre announced the promotion of Misty Copeland to principal ballerina Tuesday...

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Dudley Williams: A life well-lived in dance

In 2004, when Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s Dudley Williams was preparing to retire after four decades in dance, an interviewer asked about the unique longevity that characterized his remarkable career.

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Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater kicks off hot summer season at Lincoln Center

The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater explodes onstage at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts for its annual two-week summer season with a program.

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DanceAfrica 2015 honors founder Baba Chuck Davis

DanceAfrica, the cultural cornucopia conceived and nurtured by Artistic Director Chuck Davis, has filled the Brooklyn Academy of Music with an exuberant explosion of dance, music, film, food, fashion and more on Memorial Day weekend for the past 38 years.

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Choreographer Dianne McIntyre’s revealing ‘Selfie Session’

Dianne McIntyre has been called a “groundbreaking artistic pioneer,” a “choreographic genius” and “one of modern dance’s reigning divas”—praise showered on her since 1972 and the birth of Sounds in Motion, her now-defunct dance company, and throughout a four-decade long career.

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National Action Network labor panel urges workers to raise hell

April 10, the nation’s top labor leaders took the struggle to protect the rights of working men and women to the annual National Action Network convention.

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Dance Theatre of Harlem launches City Center season

Virginia Johnson takes a deep breath before sitting down for an interview in a room just off the spacious, sun-drenched studio backstage at New York’s City Center

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Cuba’s vibrant ‘Havana Rakatan’ comes to New York City

Cuban dance and music explode onto the stage at City Center Theater Feb. 18 through Feb. 22 when Ballet Rakatan, accompanied by the eight-piece Cuban son band Turquino kicks off its vibrant program, “Havana Rakatan,” which promises to generate enough heat to melt hearts and transport audiences to the sun-splashed streets of Havana.

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Celebrating women with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater

t’s that time of year! On Wednesday, Dec. 3, the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater season comes to the City Center Theater and runs through Sunday, Jan. 4.

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Celebrating women with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater

Deck the halls! It’s that time of year! Wednesday, Dec. 3, the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater season comes to the City Center Theater and runs through Sunday, Jan. 4.

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A brief conversation with an icon: Arthur Mitchell

rthur Mitchell, founder of the historic Dance Theater of Harlem and the first Black dancer to become a principal with a major American ballet company, George Balanchine’s New York City Ballet, was honored with the 2014 Bessie Award for Lifetime Achievement at the Apollo Theater Monday, Oct. 20.

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Geoffrey Holder: The gentle giant

Geoffrey Lamont Holder, a multitalented artistic force of nature whose commanding 6-foot-6 frame, baritone voice and enthusiastic laugh were outward manifestations of an incandescent spirit and an inimitable creative genius, made his transition Sunday at age 84, as a result of complications pneumonia.

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Ailey returns to Lincoln Center June 11-22

This month, the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater (AAADT) will return to Lincoln Center from June 11-22 for an exciting season that will feature the exquisite Ailey dancers in world premieres, new productions and timeless masterpieces that are sure to dazzle audiences.

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DanceAfrica 2014: Celebrating Africa’s Bantaba

This Memorial Day weekend, the 37th annual celebration of DanceAfrica, the nation’s largest festival dedicated to African culture, sweeps into the Brooklyn Academy of Music with a exuberant exploration of the rich cultural heritage of Madagascar with “DanceAfrica 2014: Celebrating Africa’s Bantaba (“dancing ground”).

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DTH’s dazzling present, promising future

Dance Theatre of Harlem’s (DTH) recent season at Lincoln Center’s Rose Theater was all too brief but dazzling on so many levels.

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Ailey II celebrates 40 years

Hold on to your seats! Ailey II, the wildly talented second company of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, celebrates its 40th anniversary season with an exciting program of familiar favorites and delightful new works at the Ailey Citigroup Theater from April 2-13.

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