Daum Museum of Contemporary Art will host Kansas City Friends of Alvin Ailey in a production of Setting the Stage on Thursday, May 24, 2018, at 6:00 p.m., in the Stauffacher Theatre, on the campus of State Fair Community College. The performance is free and open to the public, and is the first event of the four-part Summer Nights at the Daum series on the fourth Thursday of the month, beginning with May and continuing through August (5/24, 6/28, 7/26, 8/23).
Setting the Stage is a multimedia celebration of African-American dance woven into the broader tapestry of American history. In particular, the program highlights the legacies of pioneering African-American choreographers who helped advance modern dance, artists like Alvin Ailey and Katherine Dunham. The production is developed and choreographed by Tyrone Aiken, chief artistic officer of Kansas City Friends of Alvin Ailey.
Kansas City Friends of Alvin Ailey (KCFAA) is the second home of New York’s Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. KCFAA furthers Alvin Ailey’s vision of making dance accessible to all people by presenting an Alvin Ailey dance company every year and by providing arts education programming to the greater Kansas City community. KCFAA uses the art of dance as a vehicle to improve knowledge, increase self-esteem, enhance critical thinking skills, and encourage positive role models and smart life choices.
Alvin Ailey (1931-1989) was an American choreographer and activist who is credited with popularizing modern dance and revolutionizing African-American participation in 20th century concert dance. His New York City-based dance group, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, founded in 1958, continues Ailey’s vision by performing important works from the past and commissioning new additions to its repertoire. Alvin Ailey first brought his dance company to perform in Kansas City in 1968. Such was the response of the Kansas City community to his company’s work that Ailey, contemplating making a second home for Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in Los Angeles, decided to make it in Kansas City instead. In 1984, Kansas City Friends of Alvin Ailey was founded.