World-renown Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater is in town!
There are some dance experiences that make such an impression that they leave me completely moved and in awe. Alvin Ailey is one of those and ranks right up there as my number one. I spoke to dancers Linda Celeste Sims and Glenn Allen Sims, about their on (and off) stage true love.
You met at Alvin Ailey, can you tell us about it?
Linda: We met at Ailey in 1997 when Glenn joined the Company. We had the same circuit of friends but we never met before! That drew us closer together, not to mention we became close friends as well. Then we went out salsa dancing one day… Yes all he had to do was dance to salsa!
Glenn: Well I thought Linda had a great pair of legs from the get go… But it was when we went salsa dancing that the sparks flew for us!
Has it been challenging though to work together as well?
L: Life itself is challenging. If you make it hard it will be hard. But if you work on it, it won’t be. Glenn and I built a relationship on communication. We always try to be honest with each other, and this allows us to work together. We focus on the other persons’ interest not just our own. Patience and love work hand in hand.
G: Finding the balance between work and home is essential. The challenges of working together have actually made us a stronger family unit, because we are with one another all the time, which is a huge blessing that many don’t get in this lifetime; the ability to share a passion for dance with someone who loves dance just as much as you.
What are the highlights about dancing in Alvin Ailey?
L: Dancing with Ailey has been a great journey. Traveling and seeing the world has made me a better person. I’ve been able to work with some amazing choreographers. I believe that Mr Ailey was a genius! Highlights would be dancing in the ancient Herodes Atticus under the Acropolis in Greece and performing Mr. Ailey’s timeless Revelations outside staring up at the stars.
G: The highlights of dancing with Ailey is being able to travel world-wide and share the gift of dance with many cultures. The company is really special because it’s a repertory company, which allows the dancers to dance many styles of dance in the course of an evening, which keeps me engaged and challenged. One feature that stands out honestly is being able to dance the must-see signature work of the company, Revelations.
What are your personal credos to success in the artistic world?
L: I believe that if you work hard you can do anything! So focusing on taking care of your body and eating well will help you as a dancer stay healthy physically. Taking extra time to keep the body healthy like pilates, floor barre, stretching a lot and taking baths. All these things will help prevent injuries.
G: To never stop learning, keep the mental attitude of a student. But more importantly, keep reinventing yourself!
See for yourself:
Johannesburg, Teatro at Montecasino 3-13 September
Cape Town, Opera House, Artscape 16-20 September
Computicket by calling 0861 915 8000, visit www.computicket.com
Words: Claire Barnardo