Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater Kicks Off City Center Holiday With Gala Benefit, November 30

The production will include an exceptional performance at New York City Center followed by a dinner-party at the Ziegfeld Ballroom.

By: Nov. 28, 2022
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater Kicks Off City Center Holiday With Gala Benefit, November 30

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater kicks off its 2022 holiday season engagement with a start-studded one-night only gala benefit on Wednesday, November 30 at 7pm, complete with an exceptional performance at New York City Center followed by a dinner-party at the Ziegfeld Ballroom.

This year's gala honors Philanthropist Denise Littlefield Sobel, a true patron of the arts and champion for social equity who is leaving an indelible mark on the dance world. Her dedication and commitment to the Ailey organization has spanned two decades with vital support for essential artistic initiatives like the commissioning of new works and international touring.

Honorary Chair for the evening is two-time Emmy-winning TV host, journalist, author, and producer Tamron Hall. The event's co-chairs are Emily & Len Blavatnik, Howard Bradnock, Daria L & Eric J. Wallach, Joan & Sandy Weill and Pamela D. Zilly & John H. Schaefer; vice chairs are Jill & Gunther Bright, Anthony S. Kendall, Anthony A. Lewis, and Raina & Jack Pitts.

This gala features a specifically staged excerpt of acclaimed Italian choreographer Mauro Bigonzetti's Festa Barocca with Constance Stamatiou and talented students from The Ailey School; Jacquelin Harris and James Gilmer in the "Softly, As I Leave You" romantic duet from Nine Sinatra Songs by Twyla Tharp, highlights from Alvin Ailey's Night Creature, a perennial favorite set to a sparkling score by Duke Ellington; and Artistic Director Robert Battle's tender Unfold danced to Gustave Charpentier's exquisite aria ("Louise, Act III, Depuis Le Jour") sung live by Brandie Sutton. The performance culminates with the inspiring finale of Alvin Ailey's signature masterpiece Revelations.

Following the performance, prominent figures in the worlds of entertainment, business, philanthropy, and politics gather for an evening of dinner and dancing at the Ziegfeld Ballroom. Expected guests include Erika Alexander, Karamo Brown, Wilson Cruz, Sunny Hostin, Bianca Lawson, Harry Lennix, Christian Siriano, Bevy Smith, Pose's Ryan Jamaal Swain, LaChanze, Lorraine Toussaint, Danielle Moné Truitt ("Law & Order: Organized Crime"), Larry Wilmore.

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 2: ARE YOU IN YOUR FEELINGS? - WORLD PREMIERE

On Friday, December 2 at 8pm Ailey reveals the world premiere of acclaimed choreographer and MacArthur Genius Kyle Abraham's Are You in Your Feelings?, a celebration of Black culture, Black music, and the youthful spirit that perseveres in us all. Scored to a "mixtape" of soul, hip-hop, and R&B, this work explores the connections among music, communication, and personal memory.

Performance Dates: Dec. 2 eve, 3 eve, Dec. 8 eve, Dec. 20, Dec 22 eve, Dec 24 eve

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 3 AT 2PM: AILEY & ELLINGTON

Ailey & Ellington on Saturday December 3 at 2pm showcases four of the fourteen ballets Alvin Ailey created that celebrate the musical genius of Duke Ellington, including Night Creature, Reflections in D Pas de Duke, and The River. A modern dance translation of a classical pas de deux, Pas de Duke was created in 1976 honoring two of the most renowned dancers in the world, Judith Jamison and Mikhail Baryshnikov. Choreographed for American Ballet Theatre in 1970, The River is a suite with eight movements set to Ellington's only symphonic score written specifically for dance.

Performance Dates: Dec. 3 mat, Dec 4 mat

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 1: DUET - CITY CENTER STAGE DEBUT

Paul Taylor's DUET makes it's New York City Center debut on Thursday, December 1 at 7:30pm. Set to the music of Franz Josef Haydn, this brief and beautifully shaped ballet is a testament to the simplicity and clarity of his craft. This work portrays a love, perhaps not new, but rather tried and true.

Performance Dates: Dec. 1 eve, Dec. 6 eve, Dec. 15 eve, Dec. 21 eve, Dec 24 eve

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 3 AT 8PM: IN A SENTIMENTAL MOOD - CITY CENTER STAGE DEBUT

Jamar Roberts' In a Sentimental Mood makes its New York City Center debut on Saturday December 3 at 2pm. An intimate scene from the domestic life of a couple that becomes an exploration of love and desire. Using an original composition by Duke Ellington and four jazz standards given an avant-garde twist by composer Rafiq Bhatia, Roberts bridges the past and present, making these musical classics freshly relevant and timely.

Performance Dates: Dec. 3 eve, Dec. 15 eve, Dec. 20 eve, Dec 21 eve, Dec 22 eve, Dec 24 eve

FAMILY MATINEE SERIES

On Saturday afternoons enjoy a lively performance and stay afterwards for a free Q&A with the acclaimed Ailey dancers in the theater.

Performance Dates: Dec. 3 mat, Dec. 10 mat, Dec. 17 mat

REVELATIONS AROUND THE WORLD WORKSHOP AT AILEY EXTENSION - DECEMBER 3

Ailey fans around the world are invited to join Director of Ailey Extension and former Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater Company Member Lisa Johnson-Willingham for a free online Revelations Around the World Workshop on Saturday, December 3 at 3pm. Dancers across the globe will come together virtually to learn excerpts of choreography from Ailey's signature masterpiece Revelations. Since its premiere in 1960, Alvin Ailey's Revelations has consistently enraptured audiences all over the world with its perfect blend of reverent grace and spiritual elation. Using African American spirituals, song-sermons, gospel songs, and holy blues, Ailey's timeless masterpiece fervently explores the places of deepest grief and holiest joy in the soul. This enduring classic is a tribute to that tradition, born out of the choreographer's "blood memories" of his childhood in rural Texas and the Baptist Church. Revelations has been performed continuously around the globe, transcending barriers of faith and nationality, and appealing to universal emotions, making it one of the most recognized ballets in the world.

UPCOMING PERFORMANCE HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE:

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 7: SURVIVORS - NEW PRODUCTION

On Wednesday, December 7 at 7:30pm Ailey reveals a new production of Survivors - Alvin Ailey's impassioned tribute to the profound courage and terrible anguish of Nelson and Winnie Mandela. Max Roach's richly varied drumming and Abbey Lincoln's vocals set the emotional tone for this powerful work that lifts up those who resist oppression in any form.

Performance Dates: Dec. 7 eve, Dec. 10 eve, Dec. 15 eve, Dec. 17 eve, Dec. 24 eve

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 9: ROY'S JOYS - COMPANY PREMIERE

On Friday, December 9 at 8pm Ailey unveils the company premiere of Twyla Tharp's silky, sultry Roy's Joys embodies the spontaneity of a 1940s and 50s jazz soundtrack by Roy Eldridge. Mixing vernacular dance with ballet and modern technique, it exudes an easy, carefree energy that shows Tharp at her rollicking best.

Performance Dates: Dec. 9 eve, Dec. 14 eve, Dec. 17 eve, Dec. 21 eve. Dec. 23 eve




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