Modern dance company, Broadway musical take Lafon Arts Center stage this week

A performance of "Come From Away."

It’s a busy week at the Lafon Arts Center as their Luling stage will showcase both a famous modern dance company and a Tony-award winning Broadway musical.

Ailey II will kick things off Thursday, with the performance beginning at 7:30 p.m. The dance company was founded in 1974 and is now one of the most popular modern dance companies. They are celebrating their 50th anniversary this year.

“As we celebrate this monumental 50th anniversary, I am honored to continue Alvin Ailey’s mission of fostering and nurturing the next generation of bright young artists,” Francesca Harper, artistic director for Ailey II, said. “From world premieres to repertory favorites, this season’s programming offers something for everyone. These 12 exceptional dancers look forward to sharing their artistry, vitality, and virtuosity at theaters across the nation and throughout the world, in works that will move our audiences deeply and leave them forever transformed.”

Ailey II will take the Lafon Arts Center stage Thursday night.

As part of the district’s Artsperience Series, St. Charles Parish Public Schools’ students had the unique opportunity to immerse themselves in the world of dance through an exclusive workshop conducted by Ailey II’s esteemed dancers. The workshop, tailored for 70 students, promises to “ignite creativity, inspire movement and foster a deeper appreciation for the performing arts.”

“We are thrilled to welcome Ailey II to the Lafon Arts Center and extend this enriching experience to the students of St. Charles Parish Public Schools,” Chris Aucoin-Melohn, director of the Lafon Arts Center, said. “Through the power of dance, we aim to ignite the passion, spark imagination and cultivate a lifelong love for the arts among our students in St. Charles Parish.”

Tickets for Ailey II are on sale for $35.

On Saturday, the national Broadway tour of “Come From Away” will take the stage at 7:30 p.m.

“For the residents of St. Charles Parish, having the opportunity to experience the national Broadway tour of ‘Come From Away’ at the Lafon Arts Center is truly monumental. This Tony Award-winning production offers a rare chance for our community to witness world-class theater right in our own backyard,” Aucoin-Melohn said. “It’s not just about entertainment; it’s about cultural enrichment, inspiration, and a shared experience that will leave a lasting impact on all who attend. It’s a privilege for locals to be able to immerse themselves in the magic of this acclaimed musical, right here in St. Charles Parish.”

“Come From Away” is based on the events in the Newfoundland town of Gander during the week following the September 11 attacks, when 38 planes, carrying approximately 7,000 passengers, were ordered to land unexpectedly at Gander International Airport. The characters in the musical are based on, and in most cases share the names of, actual Gander residents and stranded travelers they housed and fed. 

“The musical beautifully captures the spirit of unity, kindness, and resilience in the face of adversity,” Aucoin-Melohn said. “ If anyone knows about facing adversity it’s our community who have recently lived through a pandemic and devastating hurricane.”

Tickets for “Come from Away,” which is a New York Times Critic’s Pick, are between $70-$85 depending on the seat. Tickets for both performances can be purchased at