Defying the world of Photoshop, those beautiful, ripped bodies on banners announcing the return of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater are the real thing. Alvin Ailey created beautiful dances and nurtured his namesake company, considered among the most popular dance troupes in America if not the world. He also inspired the next generation of choreographers. Ailey's work and his legacy are celebrated in three programs in this L.A. visit. The opening program (repeated Saturday evening), "Ailey Spirit," offers Ronald K. Brown's Grace
and Ohad Naharin's Minus 16
, the latter incorporating elements of improvisation and audience participation. "Classic Ailey," with matinees Friday and Saturday, serves up sections from Ailey's deep vault of dances. Sunday's "21st Century Ailey" showcases up-and-comer Kyle Abraham's Another Night
, artistic director Robert Battle's Strange Humors
and the company's local debut of Jiri Kylian's sensual masterwork Petite Mort
. As the new artistic director, Battle is only the company's third, but he's already departing from company tradition: Unlike old times, he isn't closing shows with Ailey's Revelations
. So while this trio of programs pays homage to the Ailey tradition, it also signals a Battle plan to blaze new trails. Music Center, Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, 135 N. Grand Ave., dwntwn.; Fri.-Sat., April 19-20, 7:30 p.m.; Sat.-Sun., April 20-21, 2 p.m.; $28-$110. musiccenter.org.
April 17-20, 7:30 p.m.; April 20-21, 2 p.m., 2013