Ailey Does Kylián

Jirí Kylián’s classically rooted Petite Mort has become a repertory staple for many ballet companies. But tonight, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s contemporary dancers will perform the ballet for the first time. “So many dancers dream of doing Petite Mort,” says Patrick Delcroix, who’s setting the work on the company. “The Ailey dancers—I think it was a dream for them, too, but they never really thought they'd get a chance.”

Delcroix says since most of AAADT’s members aren’t ballet dancers, they expected the Petite Mort vocabulary to be unfamiliar, which actually made them more receptive to his coaching. “They were completely open,” he says. “We got into more details than I usually can. And it introduced them to a completely new way of moving.”

There might be more Kylián in AAADT’s future. “I’ve been talking with Mr. Kylián about bringing more works over,” Delcroix says. “I think we could develop something very interesting.”