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Ailey Dancers to Teach Signature Style in City Center Workshops

Ailey Dancers to Teach Signature Style in City Center Workshops

Ailey Extension welcomes leading dancers from Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater to teach three special workshops during the company's New York City Center holiday season (November 29 - December 31).

Former Ailey dancer and creator of Ailey Barre Sarita Allen teaches choreography from Alvin Ailey's popular work Night Creature, and company members Hope Boykin and Michael Jackson, Jr. lead workshops that will feature Alvin Ailey's signature style and expand the artistic range of students. All levels and backgrounds are welcome to participate in these unique workshops with celebrated performing artists.

Alvin Ailey's Night Creature is a bubbly champagne cocktail of a dance that remains one of Alvin Ailey's most popular works - a definitive homage to jazz legend Duke Ellington's sparkling music. Chosen by Alvin Ailey to perform the lead role, Sarita Allen will teach a Night Creature Workshop on Monday, December 4 at 7pm,imparting Mr. Ailey's signature style and sharing personal stories behind the classically influenced choreography. This large ensemble work is full of stars that come on at night - strutting, leaping, and slinking through a variety of dance idioms as they flaunt and flirt with each other and the audience. The work first premiered on the 1974 television special "Ailey Celebrates Ellington," and two years later, Mr. Ailey presented a stage version during the Lincoln Center season, and this New York City Center holiday season it will be performed six times.

Choreographer and veteran company member Hope Boykin returns to Ailey Extension to lead a two-hour Contemporary Workshop on Monday, December 11 at 7pm, giving dancers a change to experience the joy of dance. As a teacher, Ms. Boykin gives students a new way of gaining self-awareness through their bodies, and helps students discover the necessary tools to improve technique. Ms. Boykin often employs contemporary movements in her choreography, as seen in her 2016 world premiere r-Evolution, Dream., inspired by the sermons and speeches of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. A must-see this season at New York City Center, her work melds creative storytelling with music composed by Lincoln Center's Ali Jackson and historic writings narrated byHamilton's Leslie Odom, Jr.

Michael Jackson, Jr.will also lead a two-hour Contemporary Workshop on Monday, December 18 at 7pm. Mr. Jackson - who is the face of Ailey's New York City Center 2017 season - will teach students how to improve performance skills and deepen artistic range, showing the essence of Ailey's multi-dimensional style of movement. The class will emphasize contemporary movements, highlight ballet principles, and interweave Horton, Graham, and Taylor techniques.

Each workshop costs $30 per student. To purchase, visit


Night Creature Workshop with Sarita Allen

Monday, December 4, 7-9pm / $30

Contemporary Workshop with Hope Boykin

Monday, December 11, 7-9pm / $30

Contemporary Workshop with Michael Jackson, Jr.

Monday, December 18, 7-9pm / $30


Latin Night with Katherine Jimenez

Saturday, November 18: Workshop, 6-8pm; Social Dance Party, 8-9:30pm

Workshop / $25, Workshop & Social / $30, Social Only / $10

Move Your Curves with Pretty BIG Movement

Saturday, November 18 & December 19, 7-9pm / $20

Sunday Ballet Intensive with Finis Jhung

Sunday, November 19 & December 17, 4-6pm / $30

Afro Flow Yoga™ with Pilin Anice

Sunday, November 19 & December 17, 2-3:30pm / $20

Zumba® Holiday Dance Party with Richard Martinez

Monday, December 18, 6:30-8pm / $25

Ailey Extension's Ticket to Dance* promotion returns this season giving first-time students a chance to try a weekly dance or fitness class for free with an Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater performance ticket (offer expires after 60 days). Return students receive a free class with the purchase of a 10-class card. Dance enthusiasts can build self-confidence in a non-competitive environment while learning techniques seen on stage at New York City Center, such as Horton, performed in Alvin Ailey's must-see masterpiece Revelations, and Afro-Cuban, seen in Jawole Willa Jo Zollar's Shelter, a gripping portrait of homelessness. Ailey's five-week season will also feature a variety of world premieres, new productions, live music performances, and special programs. For more information, visit *Ticket to Dance promotion is not valid on New York City Center workshops.

Since its inception in 2005, Ailey Extension has fulfilled Mr. Ailey's life-long commitment of bringing dance to everyone by offering "real classes for real people." Ailey Extension offers 100 classes a week in 25 different dance and fitness techniques such as Horton, Ballet, Masala Bhangra, West African, Samba, Jazz, Zumba, House and Hip-Hop. Over 125,000 people have taken classes at Ailey's home, New York's largest building dedicated to dance, where dancers of all levels and walks of life can learn and be inspired - body, mind, and spirit!

Pictured: AAADT's Michael Jackson, Jr. in Kyle Abraham's Untitled America. Photo by Paul Kolnik; Sarita Allen (center) and former AAADT company members in Alvin Ailey's Night Creature. Photo by Jack Mitchell. (©) Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation, Inc. and Smithsonian Institution; AAADT's Hope Boykin in Ronald K. Brown's Four Corners. Photo by Christopher Duggan.

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