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Ailey's Holiday Season Continues To Move Audiences At New York City Center

Ailey's Holiday Season Continues To Move Audiences At New York City Center

On Friday, December 8, longtime Ailey star Jamar Roberts made his choreographic debut on the company with Members Don't Get Weary. Set to music by legendary saxophonist John Coltrane, the blues-inspired premiere was attended by Tarell Alvin McCraney, playwright and co-writer of the Oscar-winning film Moonlight - a high school classmate of Roberts at Miami's New World School of the Arts. The New York Times called the opening scene "striking" and the work "as emotional as it was virtuosic."

There are five more chances to see Members Don't Get Weary this season: Dec. 16 eve, 22, 23 eve, 27 mat, and 31 mat. Another special guest who attended over the weekend included Saturday Night Live Emmy Award winner Kate McKinnon who spent her day off at Ailey's Sunday matinee performance, leading the audience in a standing ovation of Alvin Ailey's classic masterpiece Revelations.

The company's five-week holiday season continues this week with a new production of Jawole Willa Jo Zollar's Shelter on Tuesday, December 12, a passionate statement about the physical and emotional deprivation of the homeless. The piece returns to the Ailey stage 25 years after first being performed by the company, set to an inventive score that incorporates poetry by Hattie Gossett and Laurie Carlos, which has been altered to address recent natural disasters. Recently The New York Times commented the piece "speaks most strongly to the anxieties of the moment."

On Wednesday, December 13, a new production of Talley Beatty's Stack-Up will get audiences grooving with its throbbing 1970s beats (music by Earth, Wind & Fire, Grover Washington, Jr., Fearless Four, and Alphonze Mouzon). Inspired by Los Angeles' urban landscape and the lives of its disparate inhabitants, Stack-Up depicts the emotional "traffic" in a community that's stacked up on top of each other. Tough, brutal yet poignant, the work is being restaged in advance of the upcoming centennial of this pioneering choreographer.

Five veteran Ailey dancers will shine on Sunday, December 17 in a special one-night-only program "Celebrating the Men of Ailey": Clifton Brown, Vernard J. Gilmore, Yannick Lebrun, Jamar Roberts, and Glenn Allen Sims. Emphasizing the strength, grace, and dynamism of the company's men, the program includes classic works choreographed by Alvin Ailey (Night Creature, Love Songs, and Revelations) and excerpts of solos and duets by Alvin Ailey, Robert Battle, and members of the company.

Other highlights this week include: Family Matinee featuring a free Q&A with Ailey dancers following the performance on Saturday, December 16; and "Everyday People x Alvin Ailey Holiday Celebration," a free party for Young New York program ticket holders in Bushwick, Brooklyn on Saturday, December 16 at 5pm featuring music by DJ Moma & Rich Knight, and live performances by Josh Dean, Ailey II company members, and other special guests.

UPCOMING PERFORMANCE HIGHLIGHTS

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 12: SHELTER - NEW PRODUCTION
Originally performed by the Ailey company in 1992, Jawole Willa Jo Zollar's Shelter is a gripping portrait of homelessness. Set to an inventive score which incorporates drumming by Junior "Gabu" Wedderburn and poetry by Hattie Gossett and Laurie Carlos, Shelter delivers the compelling message that the poverty of individuals will inevitably lead to the destitution of all humanity.
Performance Dates: Dec. 12, 15, 20 mat, 29

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 13: STACK-UP - NEW PRODUCTION
Set to the background of a throbbing 1970s beat (Earth, Wind and Fire, Grover Washington Jr., Fearless Four, and Alphonze Mouzon) and a graffiti landscape, patrons in a crowded disco dance with attitude, sass, and fierce despair in this classic work by Talley Beatty, which was re-staged in conjunction with the 2018 centennial of his birth. Inspired by Los Angeles' urban landscape and the lives of its disparate inhabitants, Stack-Up depicts the emotional "traffic" in a community that is stacked on top of each other. Tough, brutal yet poignant, the stage sizzles with street life, break dancing, and physical pyrotechnics as an aloof drug pusher and two displaced lovers are destined for collision.
Performance Dates: Dec. 13, 16 eve, 21, 22, 23 eve, 27 eve, 29

OTHER WEEK 3 HIGHLIGHTS

FAMILY MATINEE SERIES - SATURDAY, DECEMBER 16 MAT
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.

"EVERYDAY PEOPLE x ALVIN AILEY HOLIDAY CELEBRATION" - SATURDAY, DECEMBER 16, 5-10PM
Young New York program ticket holders are invited to attend a holiday celebration in collaboration with Everyday People in Bushwick, Brooklyn with music by DJ Moma & Rich Knight, and live performances by Josh Dean, Ailey II company members, and other special guests. Entry is free with performance ticket stub. The Young New York program is a multi-year audience development project engaging young people between the ages of 21-30 through a series of special events and ticket offers, supported by The Wallace Foundation. For more information, visit www.alvinailey.org/yny.

"ALL JAZZ" - THURSDAY, DECEMBER 14 & SUNDAY, DECEMBER 17 MAT
This special program celebrates the marriage of jazz music and modern dance with performances of Alvin Ailey's Night Creature, Robert Battle's Ella, Hope Boykin's r-Evolution, Dream., and Billy Wilson's The Winter in Lisbon.

"ALL NEW" - SATURDAY, DECEMBER 16 EVE
Program includes a few of this season's world premieres and new productions - Gustavo Ramírez Sansano's Victoria, Jamar Roberts' Members Don't Get Weary, and Talley Beatty's Stack-Up.

"CELEBRATING THE MEN OF AILEY" - SUNDAY, DECEMBER 17 EVE
Ailey celebrates the strength, power, and dynamism of its male dancers in a special one-night-only program featuring performances by veteran dancers Clifton Brown, Vernard J. Gilmore, Yannick Lebrun, Jamar Roberts, and Glenn Allen Sims.

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, beloved as one of the world's most popular dance companies, returns to the New York City Center stage November 29 - December 31, 2017 for a season that has become a joyous holiday tradition. Led by Artistic Director Robert Battle, Ailey's extraordinary dancers will move audiences with premieres, new productions, repertory favorites and classics like the American masterpiece Revelations, acclaimed as a must-see for all. Tickets starting at $29 can be purchased at the New York City Center Box Office, through CityTix at (212) 581-1212 or online at www.alvinailey.org or www.nycitycenter.org. Discount tickets are available for Ailey Super Fans who purchase tickets for more than one performance, for students with an appropriate ID, and for groups of 10 or more (discounts do not apply to $29 tickets). The Saturday Family Matinee series includes a post-performance Q&A with the Ailey dancers and an increased availability of $29 tickets, but buy early for the best seat selection. For group sales, call 212-405-9082 or e-mail groupsales@alvinailey.org. For further information, visit www.alvinailey.org.

Photo: AAADT in Jamar Roberts' Members Don't Get Weary.
Photo Credit: Paul Kolnik



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