Las Vegas Contemporary Dance Theater celebrates the music of Ella Fitzgerald and Duke Ellington

LVCDT in Simply Ella
Photo: Tomasz Rossa

Alvin Ailey choreographed more than a dozen works to music by Duke Ellington in his decades-long career creating modern dance that reflects the African American experience. His company has continued the tradition under the choreography of Judith Jamison and others, presenting songs by influential black female vocalists including Sarah Vaughan, Nina Simone and Ella Fitzgerald.

In Simply Ella, the Las Vegas Contemporary Dance Theater celebrates Fitzgerald and Ellington in a program that pairs dancers with the magnetic vocals of Clint Holmes and Reva Rice and the choreography of Ailey, whose “Night Creature,” an upbeat, jazzy ensemble piece, has dancers on the prowl.

Simply Ella closes the season for the spirited company founded by artistic director Bernard Gaddis, former principle dancer with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and a champion of multiculturism in dance. Also on the program is a new ballet by Gaddis, whose company brings a rousing, sexy and emotional blend of old and new to the stage. If you miss LVCDT this go-round, it’s a long wait till next season.

Simply Ella November 13, 7:30 p.m., $35-$125. Smith Center’s Reynolds Hall, 702-749-2000.

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Kristen Peterson

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