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Alvin Ailey on Great Performances (PBS)

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Great Performances: Dance in America will present a program on Alvin Ailey Dance Theater, "Beyond the Steps." Premiere is Wednesday June 21. Dates and times may vary from station to station. Here's the Link:


The documentary marks a moment of both growth and reflection: the company travels to Russia after an absence of 15 years; moves into a state-of-the-art custom facility, called by THE NEW YORK TIMES "the largest in the country devoted exclusively to dance"; and creates a new ballet entitled "Love Stories," choreographed by longtime AAADT Artistic Director Judith Jamison in collaboration with hip-hop pioneer Rennie Harris and modern dance maverick Robert Battle. Under Jamison's steadfast leadership, the making of a new dance and a new home serve as symbols of the remarkable foundation that Ailey built and of the vibrancy that defines the company today. Directed by filmmaker Phil Bertelsen, BEYOND THE STEPS tells the story of what it takes to keep dance modern, art relevant, and a legacy alive.
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Thanks for the heads up, bart. Joel Lobenthal reviewed the show in today's NY Sun, although because of the subscription barrier you can only read the first paragraph or two:


Television is afraid of dance and for the most part now avoids it. Forty years ago, ballet - ostensibly the most rarified and remote of dance styles - nevertheless received not infrequent exposure on television variety series like the "Ed Sullivan Show" or "The Bell Telephone Hour." Today, the prevailing situation is completely different. Only the most accessible dance styles, those embraced by monolithic corporate entertainment entities, are given any type of regular airing. PBS is practically the only television network interested in acknowledging any wider perspective to the art form. Although PBS has severely curtailed the amount of dance programming it generates or even airs second hand, it is still trying to produce some fresh product, to wit tomorrow night's "Beyond the Steps: Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater."
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