Preview: Alvin Ailey, Sadler's Wells, London

Moves to stir the soul
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Favors also conducts warm-up classes on the road and hosts mini-performances adapted for a student audience. "I go everywhere the company goes, and so far this year we have been to Japan, Korea and Russia," she says.

Now the 30-strong multiracial company is undertaking its first UK tour, beginning at Sadler's Wells in London. The company takes popular music, gospel and jazz and fuses it with modern, ballet and jazz dance.

The two programmes each consist of four dances, ending with Ailey's Revelations (1960). the company's signature work. Favors says: "It contains the defining element of what makes [the company] what it is... The passion, the beauty, the joy and the warmth that emanates from the dancers in this work made this company universally embraced around the world."

The world premiere of Reminiscin', by the artistic director Judith Jamison, is choreographed to the music of great jazz and blues divas. "The piece is about a group of young people coming into a diner after a night out clubbing," says Favors. "There's no linear narrative, but each of the songs is evocative of a mood reflected by the dancers."

Other works are choreographed to the music of Bach, Earth, Wind & Fire and Robert Fripp. Jamison's Love Stories is set to a Stevie Wonder soundtrack. "It is a celebration of the Ailey legacy of embracing all dance styles and all people over the last 47 years. It is also inspired by the company's new permanent home in NYC," says Favors.

5 to 10 September (0870-737 7737;, then touring