Local Talent to Dance with Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater 3

Atlanta’s burgeoning art scene is growing recently, thanks to esteemed institutions recognizing local Atlanta talent. One of those institutions, The Alvin Ailey Dance Theater, returns to the Fabulous Fox Theatre this month.

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, recognized by U.S. Congressional resolution as a vital American “Cultural Ambassador to the World,” grew from a now‐fabled March 1958 performance in New York that has forever changed the perception of American dance. Founded by Alvin Ailey, a recent posthumous recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom – the nation’s highest civilian honor, and guided by Judith Jamison beginning in 1989, the Company is now led by Robert Battle.

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater has performed for an estimated 25 million people in 71 countries on 6 continents, promoting the uniqueness of the African‐American cultural experience and the preservation and enrichment of the American modern dance tradition. The company receives rave reviews in its global performance schedule and this season is showing off some local Atlanta talent!

Julia Reid Newton, a sophomore from Vinings who goes by “Reid”, is in the Ailey/Fordham BFA Program and currently one of ten dancers from The Ailey School selected to participate in the New Directions Choreography Lab. She has the pleasure of working with emerging choreographer Ephrat Asherie and Brice Mousset. Reid is an Atlanta, Georgia native and grew up training at the City Gate Dance Theater before being accepted into the Ailey/Fordham BFA Program. Since joining the BFA Program, she has danced for choreographers such as Natalie Lomonte and Alvin Ailey Company Member Hope Boykin.

Reid’s focus of study forges the path for other Atlanta artists interested in elevating their training. Vinings Lifestyle sat down with her to glean just what this honor means to her personally, along with the way it affects Atlanta’s cultural scene.

VL:  What does obtaining your BA in Fine Arts mean to you personally?

Reid: “I was a competitive gymnast first, who switched to dance.  While privately training, my mentors convinced me to audition for Alvin Ailey.  It’s been a really great, extremely rigorous program to be in.  The opportunities afforded me are incredible.”

VL: What does working with the Alvin Ailey Dance Theater mean for Atlanta’s Art and Dance Scene?

Reid: “One of my favorite things to do in Atlanta was see the Alvin Ailey Dance Theater perform at the Fox.  The Atlanta community loves these performances because they’re interactive.  Alvin Ailey brings so much diversity to the Atlanta dance community and for me, it all equates to bringing this training back to our hometown.  It’s such an important aspect.”

VL: You’re passionate about the quality of dance being explored today. Given the company will return to Atlanta in February, what’s your favorite performance by Alvin Ailey Dance Theater? 

Reid: “The benefit of seeing a performance by Alvin Ailey Dance Theater is that there isn’t a performance in Atlanta that hasn’t been inspiring for me.  This year the company will be performing No Longer Silent, a concert of choreography that brings to life long-forgotten scores by composers whose work the Nazis had banned. It should be incredibly moving.”

VL: You’re one of Atlanta’s rising stars.  What is next for you in your career?

Reid: “I have recently been hired by Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines to be an aerialist this summer. I’m very excited about this new endeavor.  As a Business Administration Minor, I’m also looking into delving into the marketing and finance world in the future.