Photo Flash: First Look at Alvin Ailey Dance Theater's Opening Night Gala

Led by Artistic Director Robert Battle, Ailey's 2013-14 Season at New York City Center kicked off December 4th with an Opening Night Gala Benefit hosted by Honorary Co-Chair Gabrielle Union. The event's co-chairs were Simin Allison & in memory, Herb Allison, Kathryn & Kenneth Chenault, Daria L. Foster & Erich J. Wallach, Agnes & Gerald Hassell, Debra L. Lee, and Joan & Sandy Weill. The evening helped raise over $2.4 million for the creation of new works and Alvin Ailey's extensive educational programs for young people, including AileyCamp and scholarships to The Ailey School. Check out the pics below!

The curtain went up with an exhilarating company premiere of Wayne McGregor's Chroma, a ballet filled with layered, beautiful dancing, astonishing lifts and a luminous set. The Ailey company premiere, made possible with generous support of New York City Center, marks the first time a work by this multi award-winning British choreographer appears in the Ailey repertory. The gala performance concluded with Alvin Ailey's timeless masterpiece, Revelations which was accompanied by live music.

The celebration continued at the gala party in the Hilton New York's Grand Ballroom with Ailey's Board of Trustees led by Chair Joan Weilland President Daria L. Wallach, and 1,000 guests including model's Joan Smalls and Carolyn Murphy, actor Taye Diggs, chef Marcus Samuelsson, actor/singer Tristan "Mack Wilds", opera star Jessye Norman, Elaine Wynn of Wynn Resorts and many more who joined in dinner and dancing with the stars of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.

Ailey's exciting season, the 25th since the passing of legendary founder Alvin Ailey, continues throughout the holidays in New York, then tours 23 cities across North America beginning in February. For more information visit www.alvinailey.org.

Photos Credit: Getty, WireImage, and Patrick McMullan

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Robert Battle and Joan Weill


Marilyn L. Prince and Bennett Rink


Joan Smalls


Jillian Manus, Bennett Rink, and Elaine Wynn


Gala Chairs with Actress and Honorary Chair Gabrielle Union and Artistic Director Robert Battle


Eric J. and Daria L. Wallach, Actress and Honorary Chair Gabrielle Union, Artistic Director Robert Battle, and Joan and Sanford Weill


BET Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Debra L. Lee and actress Gabrielle Union


Ailey Dancers Elisa Clark, Daniel Harder, Sarah Daley, and Renaldo Gardner


Ailey dancers Antonio Douthit-Boyd and Kelly Robotham


Actress and Honorary Chair Gabrielle Union with Artistic Director Robert Battle and Joan and Sanford Weill

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More On: Robert Battle, City Center, Gabrielle Union, Simin Allison, Herb Allison, Gerald Hassell, Debra L. Lee, Alvin Ailey, Wayne McGregor,

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