FEBRUARY 17, 1997

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Entertainment

Audiences celebrate return of Ailey dancers

Ailey dancers by Deborah Stone
After a two-year absence, the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre recently returned to Seattle for two nights of original and exciting dance at the Paramount Theatre.
   The audiences were treated to joyously delivered, high quality performances from a company of exceptionally gifted dancers. The mostly African-American troupe is so physically strong and finely tuned that watching them fills the audience with awe and admiration. From the male dancers who soar and leap effortlessly through the air to the women with their incredible use of contractions, isolations, and magnificent leg extensions, the company continues to maintain the high standards that founder Ailey established.
   The dance theatre's productions of Riverside, Sweet Release, and Revelations all highlighted the dancers' love of their art and the expressiveness of their bodies and faces. The audience gets swept along, caught up in the renewal of the soul and spirit, and long after the thunderous applause, encore, and numerous curtain calls, they still cheer, rejoicing in the experience.