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Stephen F. Austin State University

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University Series to present Ailey II on SFA's Turner stage

Olivier Medus, Edward Spots and Gentry George are among the dancers that make up Ailey II, which will perform at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 17, in W.M. Turner Auditorium on the SFA campus.

NACOGDOCHES, TEXAS - The Stephen F. Austin State University College of Fine Arts will present Ailey II at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 17, in W.M. Turner Auditorium on the SFA campus as part of its 2013-2014 University Series, "Live Out Loud."

On Sept. 17, Ailey II embarked on a six-month, 31-city world tour that will take the company across the U.S., including the dancers' performance in Nacogdoches, and to Poland, Germany, Luxembourg, France and Canada.

"We are extremely pleased to feature the Ailey II dance company as part of our University Series," said Dr. John W. Goodall, associate dean for the College of Fine Arts. "Ailey II is one of the most popular dance companies in the country, combining a rigorous touring schedule with extensive community outreach programs."

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater was founded in 1958 by dancer, choreographer and visionary Alvin Ailey, to bring African-American cultural expression and the American modern dance tradition to the world. Since 1974, Ailey II has been a showcase for rising young dancers and choreographers.

Ailey II is universally renowned for merging the spirit and energy of the country's best young dance talent with the passion and creative vision of today's most outstanding emerging choreographers, according to the company story in the event program.

Artistic Director Troy Powell, now in his second year at the helm of Ailey II, has announced "Virtues," "We," "Rusty" and "Revelations" will be performed in Nacogdoches.

"I couldn't be more thrilled to tour the world with these 12 exceptional dancers this season," Powell said in a press release. "I always aim to commission ballets that challenge the dancers and help them grow and develop as young artists. I am excited to offer this year's choreographers the opportunity to have their work seen by audiences near and far."

Company members are Riccardo Battaglia, Shay Bland, Aubree Brown, Tyler Brown, David Adrian Freeland Jr., Gentry George, Jacquelin Harris, Daphne Lee, Olivier Medus, Danica Paulos, Edward Spots and Jamal White.

Prior to the performance, there will be a 7 p.m. informative talk about the artists and their performances to be presented by Heather Samuelson, adjunct faculty in the kinesiology and health science department at SFA, in Griffith Gallery located across the hall from Turner Auditorium. The audience is invited back to the gallery for a post-performance reception to meet the performers and to honor the event's corporate sponsor, Commercial Bank of Texas.

Griffith Gallery and Turner Auditorium are located in the Griffith Fine Arts Building, 2222 Alumni Drive.

Tickets range from $20 to $40, with discounts available for seniors, SFA faculty/staff, students and youth. For tickets or more information, visit www.finearts.sfasu.edu or call (936) 468-6407 or (888) 240-ARTS.