An evening of an Alvin Ailey’s American Dance Theater annual performance at Manhattan’s City Center without the incomparable “Revelations,” with lighting by Nicola Cernovitch and costumes by Ves Harper and Barbara Forbes, seemed an impossible mental adjustment.
However, with the entrance of Outstanding Performance at the 2014 New York Dance and Performance Awards (“The Bessie”) Linda Celeste Sims (Mrs. Sims) in Christopher Wheeldon’s “After The Rain Pas Deux” — segments of “Revelations” surged through my memory. I immediately entertained thoughts of AAADT dazzling me with “Revelations” opening with Hal Johnson’s musical arrangement to ‘I Been ‘Buked’. And, of course, experiencing transfixed periods with the arrival of the sections, ‘Didn’t My Lord Deliver Daniel’ and ‘Fix Me, Jesus.’
As I began to explode with a cathartic-purification moment, recalling the grandeur of additional sections to “Revelations” like ‘Processional/Honor, Honor,’ ‘Wade in the Water,’ and ‘I Wanna Be Ready’ — the master AAADT dancer, Linda Celeste Sims stole my attention with pizzazz and striking agility.
Clearly, I was not alone. There were thunderous roars and applause, as Mrs. Sims, the National Foundation for the Advancement in the Arts Award recipient, demonstrated the authentic feeling of romance in turns, twists and splits with ease and fun — only a marriage of the arts and partnership could deliver. With Glenn Allen Sims (Mr. Sims), in the duet, the couple teased then served the audience with their brand of exemplary body bends, drawing compliments and admiration. School-age children and adults were captivated by the crafty unlocking of Mrs. Sims body parts by Mr. Sims.
Once engaging the audience in this memorable-ballet thriller there was no turning back. The audience was eager to see more. And the artistic-entertainment service was delivered in elegant high-style Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater fashion. Of course, seeing Mrs. Sims’s flawless contours in advertisements and as a guest star on ‘So You Think You Can Dance,’ ‘Dancing with the Stars,’ and ‘The Today Show’ is no comparison to seeing a live performance of the Bronx, NY certified Floor-Barre instructor lifted into a statuesque beauty on Mr. Sims’ thigh and return a mega-watt smile, during an AAADT live engagement.
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