Ailey's 60th Anniversary New York City Center Season Opens Wednesday 11/28

Ailey's 60th Anniversary New York City Center Season Opens Wednesday 11/28

As a centerpiece to its yearlong Ailey Ascending 60th Anniversary celebration and a kickoff to its five-week holiday season, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater will host a star-studded gala benefit on Wednesday, November 28th at 7pm, complete with a performance for the ages at New York City Center and dinner-party at the New York Hilton Midtown Grand Ballroom. The gala honors Prudential Financial for its generous support and commitment to Ailey for over three decades, especially its educational and community programs. The Honorary Chairs for the evening are screen icons Angela Bassett and Cicely Tyson. Bassett, a Golden Globe Award winner, stars in the hit television series 9-1-1, and was most recently featured in the 2018 blockbusters Black Panther and Mission: Impossible - Fallout. Tyson - known for a myriad of roles across television and film, including Roots, Fried Green Tomatoes, and most recently How to Get Away With Murder - has received three Emmy Awards, a Tony Award, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and on November 18th made history as the first black woman to receive an Honorary Academy Award.

Celebrating six decades of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, the gala features a one-night-only program with selections of classic Ailey works including a specially staged excerpt of Memoria, a work he choreographed as an elegy for a dear friend; a piece d'occasion entitled For Alvin by Robert Battle, set to Nina Simone's Black is the Color; and culminates with Alvin Ailey's masterpiece, Revelations, performed with live musicians and special guest singers Ledisi (12-time Grammy-nominated R&B artist), Norm Lewis (Tony-nominated baritone known for Broadway's Porgy and Bess and NBC's Jesus Christ Superstar live), and Brandie Sutton (critically-acclaimed Metropolitan Opera soprano). Becoming Ailey, a multimedia piece that celebrates Alvin Ailey and brings his voice and presence back to the stage (created in collaboration with Bob Bonniol and Caryl Glabb of MODE Studios, Inc.), will premiere.

Following the performance, prominent figures in the worlds of entertainment, business, philanthropy, and politics will join Artistic Director Robert Battle and Company dancers at the gala for dinner and dancing. Expected guests include Jillian "Lion Babe" Hervey, Shonda Rhimes, Amanda Seales, Lorraine Toussaint, and Vanessa Williams. Proceeds support the creation of new works, scholarships to The Ailey School, and Ailey's educational programs for young people. Click here for the full Opening Night Gala Benefit press release.


On Friday, November 30th, Ailey unveils its first ever two-act ballet with the world premiere of acclaimed hip-hop choreographer Rennie Harris' Lazarus. Inspired by the life and legacy of Mr. Ailey and addressing the racial inequities our nation has faced, in 1958 when the Company was founded and today, Lazarus is an ensemble work featuring a soundtrack that melds Nina Simone, Terrence Trent D'Arby, Michael Kiwanuka, Odetta, original music by Darrin Ross, and the voice of Alvin Ailey. Harris is also currently serving as Ailey's first Artist-in-Residence, leading a wide range of activities across the organization: including The Ailey School, Ailey II, Arts-in-Education, Ailey Extension, and the New Directions Choreography Lab.

Performance Dates: Nov. 30, Dec. 1 eve, 2 eve, 5 eve, 18 eve, 19 eve, 29 eve



On Thursday, November 29th at 7:30pm, the Ailey organization hosts Young New York Night, featuring $29 tickets for every seat in the house for patrons between the ages of 21-30. The performance includes Ailey dancer Jamar Roberts Members Don't Get Weary, Jessica Lang's EN, and Alvin Ailey's timeless masterpiece Revelations will culminate the performance, introducing many of the young people in attendance to his work for the first time. This program is a multi-year audience development project created to inspire young New Yorkers, supported by The Wallace Foundation.


For four performances only, Alvin Ailey's beloved Revelations will be performed with a live band and singers.

Performance Dates: Nov. 28, 30, Dec. 1 mat and eve


On Saturday afternoons, bring the whole family to enjoy the performance and stay afterwards for a free Q&A with the acclaimed Ailey dancers in the theater.

Performance Dates: Dec. 1 mat, 8 mat, 15 mat, 22 mat, 29 mat

Related Articles

More Hot Stories For You

Before you go...

Never Miss a Story
Like Us On Facebook
Follow Us On Twitter
Follow Us On Instagram instagram