PLEDGE NOW
Here and Now with Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson
Public radio's live
midday news program
With sponsorship from
Mathworks - Accelerating the pace of engineering and science
Accelerating the pace
of engineering and science
Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Renee Robinson Retires: Beloved Alvin Ailey Star Takes Her Last Bow

photo
Matthew Rushing, left, and Renee Robinson performing in Alvin Ailey’s “Revelations” on November 28th, 2012 at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s fall gala at the New York City Center, in New York. (AP /Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Christopher Duggan)Dancer Renee Robinson stretches, as Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater Artistic Director Judith Jamison, right, watches a rehearsal from the wings of the Citigroup Theater in March of 2005 while members of the troupe practice for the official opening of the Joan Weill Center for Dance. (AP/Kathy Willens)First lady Laura Bush meets members of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater during the intermission of their performance at the Kennedy Center in Washington, Tuesday, May 12, 2001. From left artistic director Judith Jamison, associate artistic director Masazumi Chaya, Linda-Denise Evans, Bush, Guillermo Asca, Renee Robinson, Matthew Rushing, Vernard Gilmore, behind right unidentified. (AP/Susan Walsh)Renee Robinson performs the principal role in the dance piece "Grace," during the dress rehearsal for the opening night concert-banquet gala Wednesday, Dec. 1, 1999, at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in New York. (AP/Samuel W. Elijah)

If you’ve seen the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater perform “Revelations,” about the black church of Ailey’s childhood, you no doubt have seen Renee Robinson. The ending always brings audiences to their feet: Robinson plays the lead gossip among the church ladies, she fans herself furiously in her yellow dress and dances her heart out.

This past weekend, Renee Robinson–the last dancer in the company chosen by the late Ailey who was called “the quintessential Ailey woman” by another company dancer–retired from the stage, after 31 years with the company.

Here & Now’s Lynn Menegon spoke with Robinson in 2007, when the Ailey Company, led at the time by Judith Jamison, was on tour in Boston. Robinson shares how the secret of success, both her’s and the company’s, starts with food.

Robinson has long been the company’s unofficial nutritionist, while E.J. Corrigan, backstage technical director, jokes he’s the “head of morale” in the Ailey company. He says he brings along an upright smoker, two grills and two deep-fat turkey fryers on every company tour, because “we do a lot of cookin’, a lot of grillin’, a lot of smokin'” to keep the dancers primed for performance.

This program was originally broadcast on April 27th, 2007. 


Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
Spotlight

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson are hitting the road. Our Tumblr brings you behind the scenes of our election coverage.

Robin and Jeremy

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

February 9 11 Comments

Aviation Factory Struggles To Attract Young Workers

Business is booming at the GE Aviation plant in New Hampshire, but it's having trouble drawing young workers.

February 9 13 Comments

Opiate Addiction In New Hampshire

Robin Young visits a clinic called Recover Together that charges patients $65 a week for group therapy and a Suboxone prescription.

February 8 7 Comments

10 Things To Know About New Hampshire

With the focus on the primary race, we decided to do a little digging to find out what sets this state apart from the other 49.

February 8 79 Comments

N.H. Sen. Shaheen On Why She Supports Hillary Clinton

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen says "I never hear any men who are supporting Bernie get asked if they're supporting him because he's a man."