August 14, 2019 6:00pm – 7:30pm
On Sunday, March 30th, 1958 Alvin Ailey gave his first NYC concert at the 92nd St. Y where he debuted one of his signature pieces, ‘Blues Suite’. Many of the best dancers in the city performed that day. Don’t miss the opportunity to hear three of these amazing artists – Ella Thompson Moore, Nat Horne and Dorene Richardson – share memories of this auspicious (incredible) performance.
Ella Thompson Moore appeared in Alvin Ailey’s first concert at the 92nd Street Y, NYC in 1958. She began her dance training in Washington, D.C. While attending Howard University and received a scholarship to the Katherine Dunham School in New York City where she studied dance with Syvilla Fort, Walter Nicks, where she met and married Charles Moore in 1960.
She appeared in ten Broadway shows. As a member of The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, she performed in the U.S., the Far East, and Australia. Ella later performed with Dances and Drums of Africa, her husband’s company, in addition to assuming teaching and management duties and holding company rehearsals.
Nat Horne was one of the original members of Alvin Ailey’s company when Alvin choreographed “Blues Suite” (Premiering 1958) and “Revelations” (1960). Rehearsals were in the basement at Clark Center for the Performing Arts. Inspired by a Gene Kelly movie, as a boy Nat knew he was born to dance and dreamed of going to New York and being in the chorus of a Broadway show (not a star, but a chorus boy). In the Army, Nat became the first African-American to become an official member of Special Services (the military entertainment corps). Nat’s greatest influences were Jack Cole & Matt Mattox. He performed in 9 Broadway shows, and has appeared on TV and in film. In the 1970’s, Nat taught at the Ailey School as well as his namesake The Nat Horne Musical Theatre and School. Nat has taught & choreographed in countries around the world. To preserve his legacy, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts Library has requested his personal archives.
Dorene Richardson, a New York native, began studying dance at the age of 13 at the New Dance Group. Her teachers included Donald McKayle, Muriel Manning and Jane Dudley, for whom she demonstrated. She went on to study at Juilliard and danced with small companies including Natanya Newman and Donald McKayle. She was the only dancer who performed in Alvin Ailey’s two concerts at the 92nd Street Y, the first in 1958 and the next in 1960. Dorene taught at the Ailey school, and for 30 years, she taught at the New Dance Group.
Jill Williams was affiliated with the Clark Center for over 15 years; first as a student and then as a member of the esteemed faculty. She studied with Thelma Hill, James Truitte, Charles Moore, Pepsi Bethel, Lenore Latimore and Betram Ross. She was also trained by and worked with Kathy Stanford Grant in Pilates. For the past six years, she has been immersed in extensive research at the NYPL, and conducting oral histories for the project, Clark Center NYC.
El Barrio’s Artspace PS 109
215 East 99th Street
New York New York 10029 USA