Watch Alvin Ailey Dancers Transform Ella Fitzgerald’s Scat Singing Into Movement

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Before there was Scatman John and his eponymous hit “Scatman,” there was Ella Fitzgerald’s scat, an unequivocally better take on the improvisational, wordless jazz singing.

This holiday season, Alvin Ailey is honoring Ella Fitzgerald’s centennial celebration with its own dance interpretation of her extemporaneous crooning.

In advance of the company’s show, running from November 29 through December 31 at New York City Center, Alvin Ailey allowed us to preview the performance, featuring dancers Samantha Figgins and Chalvar Monteiro.

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Alvin Ailey Dancers Move to Ella Fitzgerald’s Jazz