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Ailey All Access Premieres 50th Anniversary Special CRY Film Adaptation On Mother's Day

Created as a birthday present for Alvin Ailey's mother Mrs. Lula Cooper, Cry debuted May 4, 1971.

Ailey All Access Premieres 50th Anniversary Special CRY Film Adaptation On Mother's Day

The Ailey organization is furthering the pioneering vision of its founder by "bringing dance back to the people" and lifting spirits through Ailey All Access, a series of online offerings including streaming of free performance broadcasts, Ailey Extension dance and fitness classes, and more.

In a joyful nod to the 50th anniversary of Alvin Ailey's beloved work, Cry, viewers will be treated to a new film adaptation of Jacqueline Green interpreting the extraordinary solo premiering on a Mother's Day Matinee, on Sunday, May 9 at 3pm EDT. Created as a birthday present for Alvin Ailey's mother Mrs. Lula Cooper, Cry debuted May 4, 1971 and is dedicated to "all Black women everywhere - especially our mothers."

The 16-minute tour-de-force solo choreographed on his stunning muse, Judith Jamison, was an instant sensation and went on to become an enduring work of American art. Along with the broadcast, a conversation will be available of Jacqueline Green and Constance Stamatiou coming together in reflection to share the experience of learning the role from Judith Jamison, performing the demanding dance for audiences, and the meaning of Cry from their personal perspectives.

In addition, a livestreamed panel Celebrating Judith Jamison on her birthday Monday, May 10 at 7:30pm EDT, will feature revered Ailey women discussing her groundbreaking influence in the world of dance and unparalleled contribution to the Ailey organization and American culture. Former Company members Sarita Allen, Linda Denise Fisher Harrell, Renee Robinson, Linda Celeste Sims, Dwana Smallwood and Nasha Thomas will join Director of Ailey Extension Lisa Johnson-Willingham to discuss Judith Jamison's impact as a living legend, her effect on their career, and will lead everyone in a birthday tribute when Judith Jamison joins the festivities. To register for a ticket to the panel, please visit here.

Until May 8, audiences can continue to enjoy the streaming of Ailey Resident Choreographer Jamar Roberts' Members Don't Get Weary, "a response to the current social landscape in America... an abstract look into the notion of one 'having the blues." Set to the powerful music of the legendary American jazz saxophonist and composer John Coltrane, the work uses the dancing body to inspire and momentarily transcend one's own personal blues. The performance series continues with a Greenwood Centennial program on Wednesday, May 26 at 7pm EDT, which will include excerpts from Donald Byrd's riveting ensemble work that draws on the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre as a source and the documentary "Remembering Black Wall Street." For further updates on the spring series of free online performances, visit Ailey All Access and

In celebration of National Physical Fitness Month, Ailey Extension invites you to join in the dance from wherever you are for an array of virtual classes to enjoy this May. On Saturday, May 1 at 3:30pm EDT, set the tone on National Fitness Day in a fun and accessible Zumba class led by Karen Arceneaux. The high energy music motivates all levels to dance away their worries in routines featuring aerobic/fitness interval training with a combination of fast and slow rhythms that tone and sculpt the body. The following week on Thursday, May 6 at 6:30pm EDT, students are invited to join Jonathan Lee for a beginner level Hip-Hop Workshop and learn the foundation of the technique. Mothers, grandmothers and mother figures are encouraged to celebrate Mother's Day weekend with a special BellydanceBURN Workshop with Janelle Issis on Saturday, May 8 at 3pm EDT. This experience is a fantastic way for dance and fitness enthusiasts to create new memories as they bond with their maternal figures.

For more details about Ailey's Extension's variety of online class offerings - which include hip-hop, ballet, Horton, West African, Zumba, samba, contemporary, Pilates, Broadway Jazz and more - please visit

As we move forward together, the Ailey organization will continue to find ways to build community, uplift with Ailey's artistry, and celebrate the indomitable human spirit through dance. During these unprecedented times, the Ailey organization is grateful for contributions to the Still, We Dance campaign that is making it possible to move forward and share Ailey All Access. To enjoy a variety of digital content, follow Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and the Ailey Extension on Facebook and Instagram, The Ailey School on Instagram, and visit regularly for updates.

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