Ailey II Dancers to return for Artswego's 25th anniversary season


August 17, 2016

The Artswego Performing Arts Series at SUNY Oswego marks a quarter-century of presenting exceptional artists to Oswego and Central New York audiences. Highlighting the celebratory 2016-17 season is a return engagement by Ailey II, exuberant young New York City-based repertory ensemble.

The company will offer a program of work created expressly for the select 12-member troupe, along with Ailey Ailey’s signature choreographic piece, “Revelations,” a classic of modern dance viewed by more than 25 million people in 71 countries. The performance will take place at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 2 in Tyler Hall’s rejuvenated Waterman Theatre.

Ailey II last appeared in Oswego in 1996. SUNY Oswego conferred an honorary doctor of fine arts degree to founding artistic director Sylvia Waters the following year.

Current director Troy Powell brings a fresh dimension to this New York City-based company. Writing for The New York Times last spring, reviewer Gia Kourlas said, “The dancers in Ailey II are spectacular beings, as proven in a program of new works offered as part of its two-week season at the Ailey Citigroup Theater.”

Four other events complete the yearlong mix of timeless and timely artistic expressions:

* Central Winds, 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 9, Waterman Theatre: The 50-member regional wind ensemble of music professionals and educators from across Central New York offers concertos by Igor Stravinsky and Ingolf Dahl, with SUNY Oswego faculty members Robert Auler and Trevor Jorgensen as piano and saxophone soloists. Highlights also will include “Climb to Glory” by Bill Palange, a composition dedicated to 10th Mountain Division soldiers and families stationed at Fort Drum, and a new work by Oswego faculty composer Paul Leary.

* Black Violin, 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 20, Waterman Theatre: Master violinists Kevin Sylvester and Wil Baptiste celebrate the synergy between hip hop and classical music. Featured on National Public Radio and “PBS News Hour,” they have partnered with top-tier performers from Alicia Keys to Aerosmith. This appearance with turntable ace DJ TK follows a European tour and their newest release, “Stereotypes.”

* The Acting Company, Monday, March 27, Waterman Theatre, “Julius Caesar” by William Shakespeare: America’s premier touring classical theater company presents a diverse-cast production of this Shakespeare classic. After the presidential election and the “Ides of March,” The Acting Company offers the Bard’s reflection on ambition, loyalty, love of country, backroom politics and the historical patterns humans can’t stop repeating.

* The Acting Company, Tuesday, March 28, Waterman Theatre, “X,” a new play by Marcus Gardley. The performances of “Julius Caesar” and “X” will highlight a three-year collaborative effort engaging SUNY Oswego and its students, as well as those of Le Moyne and Hamilton colleges, area high schools and other institutions nationwide. The assassination of Malcolm X—both the known story and details seldom shared—will spring vividly and lyrically to life. “Julius Caesar” provides the dramatic framework for an award-winning playwright to deepen audiences’ understanding of this complex and compelling figure in the tumultuous era of the 1960s.

Performances in the renovated Waterman Theatre provide audiences a look at this upgraded space, part of large-scale renovations for Tyler Hall, SUNY Oswego’s primary arts building.

Visit for this season’s fine arts performance details and links to video previews. Tickets may be purchased through all SUNY Oswego box offices, online at or by calling 315-312-2141. Tickets for paid events cost $15 to $25 each; $5 for college students and youths.

PHOTO CAPTION: Scintillating season—A highlight of Artswego’s 25th anniversary season in 2016-17, the Ailey II dance troupe will perform Nov. 2 at SUNY Oswego’s rejuvenated and modernized Waterman Theatre during a gala week to celebrate the reopening of Tyler Hall following large-scale renovations and upgrades.