Ailey II, the vibrant and celebrated junior company of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, returns to Columbus this week. The Ailey II ensemble consists of the most gifted dancers at The Ailey School, and most of the main company's dancers get their start in Ailey II. We're talking top-drawer dancers here.

Ailey II, the vibrant and celebrated junior company of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, returns to Columbus this week. The Ailey II ensemble consists of the most gifted dancers at The Ailey School, and most of the main company's dancers get their start in Ailey II. We're talking top-drawer dancers here.

For the first time, Ailey II is performing its namesake's signature work, the 1960 classic "Revelations." With a score and a sensibility exploring the range of African-American culture, "Revelations" came to define Ailey's bold and direct style. Performed by the young company, it is sure to be a revelation all over again.

Another Ailey II premiere will be Donald Byrd's "Shards," choreographed in 1988 for the main company. Byrd has described "Shards" as his personal deconstruction of the African-American choreography of the generation before him, particularly by Ailey, Talley Beatty and Donald McKayle. Filtering that history through his own style and his interest in 19th-century ballet, Byrd considers "Shards" to be the first work in which he expressed himself fully.

Finally, the concert features a world premiere by 2010 Princess Grace Foundation choreography fellowship winner Kyle Abraham. His "The Corner," featuring music by Chopin, soul musician Donny Hathaway and hip-hop artist Common, serves as a bridge between the past and the future of dance.

Come to think of it, that description fits Ailey II like a dancer's tights.