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Alvin Ailey Presents Free Workshop, Gala Benefit with Venessa Williams Today

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Alvin Ailey Presents Free Workshop, Gala Benefit with Venessa Williams Today

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater's two-week spring engagement at Lincoln Center's David H. Koch Theater kicks off in an exceptional way today, June 11th with a free workshop - Revelations Celebration on the Plaza - followed by The Ailey Spirit Gala, a one-night-only benefit performance and party.

Beginning at 5:30pm, Revelations Celebration on the Plaza will give participants of all ages a rare opportunity to experience a grand dance workshop celebrating Alvin Ailey's signature American masterpiece, and marking the 25th season since the legendary founder's passing. The special activity will be led by Ailey master teacher and former Company member Nasha Thomas-Schmitt, who will teach movements from three distinctive sections ofRevelations: "I've Been 'Buked," "Wade in the Water," and "Rocka My Soul." Live music with drummer and singers will be featured at the event

The inaugural Ailey Spirit Gala benefit performance at 7pm includes the world-renowned Ailey dancers in excerpts of Wayne McGregor's Chroma, Aszure Barton's LIFT, and a new production of David Parsons' signature solo, Caught. The rising stars of Ailey II will perform an excerpt of Jennifer Archibald's Wings, gifted young dancers from The Ailey School (ages 6 to 23) will showcase their talents and the breadth of the program's training inSynthesis II, and talented students from AileyCamp will perform a work inspired by Ronald K. Brown's Grace. An expanded cast of 50 of the present and future stars of Ailey will come together for a memorable finale of Alvin Ailey's timeless, Revelations. Following the performance, a dance party on the promenade will feature the musical stylings of deejay to the stars, DJ M.O.S.

Renowned actress, singer, and multi-faceted entertainer Vanessa Williams is the Honorary Chair for the benefit sponsored by FedEx Corporation. Gala Co-Chairs are Gina F. Adams, Lynne & Anthony M. Carvette, Almaz & Marc Strachan, Dr. Eboni Marshall Turman & Rossie E. Turman III, and Pamela D. Zilly & John H. Schaefer. Gala Vice Chairs are Michele & Timothy Barakett, Natasha Leibel Levine, M.D. & Harlan Levine, M.D., Leslie & Tom Maheras, and Celia & Henry McGee.

Attendees will have the opportunity to witness the impact of their charitable giving firsthand, as gala proceeds will support scholarships for talented young students to attend The Ailey School and Ailey's Arts In Education & Community Programs. These programs serve more than 100,000 young people annually, including AileyCamp - an innovative, full-scholarship summer program that uses the art of dance as a means to help young people stretch their minds, bodies and spirits. For more information on benefit tickets starting at $500 call 212-405-9031.

Led by Artistic Director Robert Battle, Ailey's 15-performance engagement featuring four programs continues through June 22nd and includes a world premiere by Robert Moses, new productions of Hans van Manen's Polish Pieces and David Parsons' Caught, and the Company premiere of Asadata Dafora's groundbreaking 1932 solo, Awassa Astrige/Ostrich. Other highlights are encores of this season's premieres and repertory favorites, such as the "Ailey/Ellington" program and Ohad Naharin's Minus 16. For further information, and to purchase tickets starting at $25, visit www.alvinailey.org.

Programming - Subject to Change:
Wednesday, June 11, 7:00pm - The Ailey Spirit Gala - including Caught and Revelations
Thursday, June 12, 7:30pm - Chroma / Robert Moses Premiere / Revelations
Friday, June 13, 8:00pm - Grace / Awassa Astrige/Ostrich, D-Man in the Waters (Part I) / Minus 16
*Saturday, June 14, 2:00pm - "Ailey/Ellington" - Night Creature, Pas de Duke / The River / Revelations
*Family Matinee - followed by a Post-Performance Q&A session with the dancers
Saturday, June 14, 8:00pm - Chroma / Robert Moses Premiere / Revelations
Sunday, June 15, 3:00pm - "Ailey/Ellington" - Night Creature, Pas de Duke / The River / Revelations
Sunday, June 15, 7:30pm - Grace / Awassa Astrige/Ostrich, D-Man in the Waters (Part I) / Minus 16
Tuesday, June 17, 7:30pm - LIFT / Polish Pieces, Caught / Revelations
Wednesday, June 18, 7:30pm - Chroma / Robert Moses Premiere / Revelations
Thursday, June 19, 7:30pm - LIFT / Polish Pieces, Caught / Revelations
Friday, June 20, 8:00pm - "Ailey/Ellington" - Night Creature, Pas de Duke / The River / Revelations
*Saturday, June 21, 2:00pm - LIFT / Polish Pieces, Caught / Revelations
*Family Matinee - followed by a Post-Performance Q&A session with the dancers
Saturday, June 21, 8:00pm - Grace / Awassa Astrige/Ostrich, D-Man in the Waters (Part I) / Minus 16
Sunday, June 22, 3:00pm - Chroma / Robert Moses Premiere / Revelations
Sunday, June 22, 7:30pm - LIFT / Polish Pieces, Caught / Revelations

Photo Credit: Rod Spicer

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