Education & Outreach Programs for Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
With an eye on enriching the community through education and outreach programming, Society for the Performing Arts provided Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater (AAADT) the opportunity to offer a multitude of master classes, workshops and lectures during their stay in Houston. Texas Southern University, the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, the Imani School through the Houston Chapter of Links, and the Evelyn Rubenstein Jewish Community Center all hosted events during the 4 days in early March when AAADT was in town. Summer Residency
Society for the Performing Arts (SPA) presented an innovative dance residency program that served 150 students from FM Black Middle School, Pershing Middle School, E-STEM Academy (East & West Campuses), and the George I. Sanchez Charter School at AAMA, Inc. This summer residency project partnered with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater to create a program that incorporated dance as a vehicle for developing self-esteem, self-discipline, creative expression and critical thinking skills. In June 2011, a week-long residency took place in the Jones Hall basement rehearsal room taught by three teaching artists from AAADT and two local teaching artists from Houston-based Ad Deum Dance Company. The residency was based on the aIE Curriculum titled Revelations; an Interdisciplinary Approach curriculum utilizes Alvin Ailey’s signature work, Revelations, as the inspirational framework for a comprehensive study of language arts, social studies, and dance. Students explored and embodied the life story of Alvin Ailey and Revelations, while connecting this story to their own life experiences, community, and the broader world around them. The program culminated in performances by the students in March 2012 as part of SPA’s pre-show programming for AAADT. Teacher Workshop
In this professional development workshop, teachers were exposed to the techniques and artistic styling of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in a Revelations workshop session led by Renee Robinson from AAADT. Teachers also learned new and inventive ways to incorporate these elements into their classrooms through dance and curriculum sessions led by Randall Flinn from Houston’s Ad Deum Dance Company. Dance Master Classes
With an opportunity to learn directly form AAADT company members, several dance master classes were offered in the Houston area during AAADT’s run in Houston. The Evelyn Rubenstein Jewish Community Center, Texas Southern University, and the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts all hosted dance master classes led by AAADT company members. AAADT Workshops and Lectures
Through the Houston Chapter of Links, SPA was able to bring Guillermo “Moe” Asca, a company member from AAADT, to lead a workshop at the Imani School.
AAADT dancer Alicia Graf Mack gave a lecture to the students at Texas Southern University, where she shared her personal dance journey and the history of AAADT. Performance Preludes and Creative Conversations
Students who participated in the summer residency program were invited back to give the Performance Preludes in March. They performed a short piece from Revelations that they learned in the summer. Students from the following schools participated: Pershing Middle School, E-STEM Academy West Campus, E-STEM Academy Central Campus, and the George I. Sanchez Charter School of AAMA, Inc.
As part of the BMC Software Creative Conversation series, AAADT dancers led informative 20 minute talks prior to each evening’s performance. AAADT company members Guillermo “Moe” Asca, Hope Boykin and Alicia Graf Mack each shared their insights.