Dancing up a storm
In Jeffrey Gantz’s review of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater performances presented by the Celebrity Series of Boston (“Alvin Ailey troupe has a Battle on its hands,” g, April 28), Gantz wrote: “It’s hard to think that a troupe making its 42d Celebrity Series appearance in Boston could be in less than robust health; yet the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, which is performing at the Citi Wang Theatre through Sunday, missed its annual visit last season.”
In reality, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater was unable to visit Boston in 2011 because of a robust touring schedule and the unavailability of a venue large enough to accommodate the performances. This was public knowledge and even cited by another publication, the Patriot Ledger, in an April 17, 2010, dance review (“There’s no next year if you miss Ailey now”): “Due to the troupe’s busy schedule and the 2011 bookings at both the Wang and The Opera House, the only venues large enough to contain the fans, next season our town will be Ailey-less.”
His statement is disappointing because this could have easily been verified before being printed. The review therefore misled the audience about the implied condition of the Ailey company and dance presentations in general by Celebrity Series.
We look forward to continuing the 43-year relationship with Celebrity Series and the Boston audience when the artistry of Ailey’s extraordinary dancers return to the Citi Wang Theatre again May 16-19, 2013.
Thanks to Jeffrey Gantz for his review of Thursday night’s performance by Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. I wish he had mentioned that two of the dancers — Kirven Boyd and Belen Estrada (who did “Wade in the Water”) — are graduates of Boston Arts Academy. In the audience that night were all of of our 9th- and 10th-grade dance majors (40 students) and our dance faculty, who taught Estrada and Boyd. Imagine the joy of seeing these two take center stage in that piece, which we have seen, as he says, for years!
My co-headmaster, Carmen Torres, and I sat in the audience with tears streaming down our faces as we watched our former students captivate hundreds of people. We remember their struggles. We remember their dreams. We remember when so many in Boston questioned the need for a high school for the arts. We continue to fight each day for adequate facilities to educate the next generations of Boyds and Estradas. We fight for funding for the arts for all schools and for BAA in particular because, yes, an arts high school education does cost more! But on Thursday night we left our fights back at school and rejoiced in the accomplishments of our alumni. We were so proud to have our young dancers there to know what they, too, can aspire to. Mostly, we celebrated the hard work, tenacity, and brilliance of Boyd and Estrada’s BAA teachers who pushed and pushed them and never gave up on them. We were “home.” And home was a beautiful place.
Don Aucoin’s review of “Maestro: Leonard Bernstein’’ was terrific (“ ‘Maestro’ a bittersweet look at life of Leonard Bernstein,” g, May 1). In Aucoin’s video intro on his Bostonglobe.com staff page, he mentions one goal: to get people off their butts to see something good theatrically. Well, it worked — to the tune of four tickets. So unlike Leonard Bernstein, who never realized his dream of being the “next great American composer,” Aucoin is four tickets closer to his dream.
Aside: Growing up, Bernstein was a god in our house. His black-and-white TV concerts were always a prerequisite to whatever else tempted the senses. His presence was magnetic on the screen, and his desire to rival the “Elvis Generation” with his “Young People’s Concerts” made me subscribe. I’m looking forward to Felder’s story, and I wouldn’t have even known about it without Aucoin’s review.
Accolades to Cate McQuaid for her respectful, appreciative review of Bob Raymond’s outstanding photographic documentation of work presented under the auspices of Mobius (“Capturing the sacred and the mysterious,” g, April 25). However, I do take umbrage at her line, “Mobius is the granddaddy of performance art venues in Boston.” Mobius was founded 35 years ago by the performance artist Marilyn Arsem, who, with her husband, Raymond, has been such a vital force in the Mobius Artists Group. Therefore it is not only politically correct but immensely just that Mobius be referred to as the “grandmamma” of performance art venues in the area.