AS THE dancers moved graciously across the stage, full of strength and precision movements, it was hard not to get lost in the awe of the movement. 

As a newcomer to the world of contemporary dance, I was not too sure what to expect from Ailey 2 at the Mayflower Theatre in Southampton. 

But after getting over the confusion of having multiple intervals, and relaxing into the spectacle, I can see why a large chunk of the Southampton crowd were budding dancers. 

The show, with dancers fresh out of America on their first tour in the UK, offered inspiration - that this feat of beautifully executed dancing was actually humanly possible, through hard graft, dedication, talent and passion. 

Hampshire Chronicle: Ailey 2Ailey 2 (Image: Nir Arieli)

Ailey 2 is not your traditional theatre show, there's no story to follow as such, instead the audience is taken through a journey of dance - sometimes classical, sometimes electronic and sometimes spiritual. 

It started with the moody and intense Enemy in the Figure, dropping you straight into the world of dance, captivating the crowd with its rhythmic electronic score. The audience was still, mesmerised by the movement. 

After the first interval followed the Freedom Series - described as' a landscape of memories' of artistic director Francesca Harper. Sparkly dresses, more modern music, and more expressive.

Then came the dramatic The Hunt, a masculine, ritualistic, even primitive display of perfectly executed moves, followed by the finale - and what most people had come to see - the more upbeat Revelations. 

Revelations is a classic in the world of contemporary dance, with its African-American gospel songs and holy blues – its brighter costumes and lighting bringing a more soulful ending to the show. 

It's a crowd-pleaser, and there's a standing ovation for the dancers at the end. 

I leave feeling well-educated about the world of Ailey and his pioneering mission to establish an extended cultural community through the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre. 

Hampshire Chronicle: Ailey 2 in Alvin Ailey's Revelations

The show was brought to Southampton through the Mayflower's links with the Dance Consortium, which enables the best contemporary dance from across the world to appear in front of local audiences across the UK and Ireland. 

It is not something you might traditionally expect from a theatre like the Mayflower, but this link is certainly enhancing the culture of the city, if not the county. 

We've all had a flavour of Ailey tonight, and to be able to watch his vision played out on stage by some of the world's finest young dancers, on its second UK date was a treat. 

Ailey 2 was on at the Mayflower Theatre in Southampton on Friday, September 22 and is also on Saturday, September 23. 

The next Dance Consortium performance São Paulo is coming to the Mayflower in February.