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Ailey II dances way into
SRU's Performing Arts Series

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - The universally renowned Ailey II dance company brings the energy of its best young dance talent to Slippery Rock University's Performing Arts Series at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 29.

The performance, the second in this year's four-part performing arts series, will be in Miller Auditorium.

The troupe is primarily known for its ability to merge the spirit and energy of young dancers with the passion and creative vision of today's outstanding emerging choreographers.

Ailey II, which was started 35 years ago, retains Alvin Ailey's original pioneering mission of establishing an extended cultural community that provides dance performance, training and community programs for all people using the beauty and humanity of the African-American heritage and other cultures to unite people of all races, ages and backgrounds.

Sylvia Waters has been Ailey II's artistic director since 1974. Her commitment to the dance world and to nurturing the artistry of young performers has made her a mentor to many company members throughout their careers. Under her direction, Ailey II has become one of the most popular dance companies in the nation combing a rigorous touring schedule with extensive community outreach programs.

After touring the nation, the company brings its performance home to the annual New York season, conducted at such sites at the Apollo Theater, The Ailey CitiGroup Theater and the Joyce Theater, considered my many as one of the premier performance venues for dance.

The company's repertory includes works by Ailey, along with those of Judith Jamison, Talley Beatty, Ulysses Dove and George Fasion and with the group's own Troy Powell, associate artistic director and fellow choreographers Christopher Huggins, Francesca Harper and Shen Wei.

This season the troupe has also performed in Innsbruck Austria, France and Canada, as well as Chicago, Kansas City, West Virginia and Maryland. Performances will continue in West Virginia, Wisconsin, Ohio and Germany, with a series of performances in the United Kingdom planned for early 2011.

Other performances in SRU's series are "Scrooge in Concert," at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 2 and "From Galway to Broadway" at 7:30 p.m., March 18.

Tickets to the Ailey performance are $20; or $18 for senior citizen and those ages 17 and under; and $8 for SRU students. For reservations call 724.738.2018.

The tour engagement of Ailey II is funded through the American Masterpieces program of Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation with support from the National Endowment for the Arts and is supported in part by the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.

AVI Food Service, the campus contract food vendor, is offering pre-performance dinners in the University Club of North Hall. The Oct. 29 menu offers mixed greens with prosciutto and fried-buffalo mozzarella, broiled salmon with lemon leek sauces, rice pilaf and roasted asparagus with red peppers and cranberry-ribbon apple pie. The vegetarian option is risotto-alla Milanese.

Dinners are $24 per person with doors opening a 5:15 p.m. Reservations, due Oct. 25, may be made by calling 724.738.4245.