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Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater to Return to Lincoln Center With a World Premiere & More

The six-performance engagement at the David H. Koch Theater will feature four diverse and dynamic programs.

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater to Return to Lincoln Center With a World Premiere & More

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater will return to Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts' David H. Koch Theater June 15-19, 2022, for a six- performance engagement that caps a decade of Artistic Director Robert Battle's leadership. Ailey's acclaimed dancers bring to life four diverse, dynamic programs featuring the world premiere of Ailey Resident Choreographer Jamar Roberts's In a Sentimental Mood, the company premiere of Paul Taylor's Duet, Alvin Ailey's The River, a Battle 10th Anniversary program, and more. Alvin Ailey's masterpiece Revelations provides the uplifting finale of each performance.

The 2022 Lincoln Center engagement begins on Wednesday, June 15 at 7:30 pm with the Contemporary Creators program, featuring the world premiere of Jamar Roberts's In a Sentimental Mood, an intimate scene from the domestic life of a couple that becomes an exploration of love and desire. The work is set to an original composition by Duke Ellington and four jazz standards given an avant-garde twist by composer Rafiq Bhatia. The program also presents the return of Aszure Barton's BUSK, an episodic look at the nature of performance and the vulnerabilities that artists face in revealing themselves onstage. Contemporary Creators repeats on Saturday, June 18 at 8 pm-Ailey Pride Night, with a Dancers Responding to AIDS appeal to raise funds that are essential for those battling the illness.

On Thursday, June 16 at 7 pm, the Ailey Spirit Gala honoring Verizon and sponsored by Diageo raises funds that are vital to scholarships for talented students of The Ailey School and Ailey's innovative Arts In Education & Community Programs. In addition to showcasing the world-renowned Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, the benefit performance includes the rising stars of Ailey II, gifted young dancers from The Ailey School, and blossoming students from AileyCamp-all performing works by Robert Battle in celebration of his 10th anniversary as Artistic Director. A soirée on the promenade follows the performance. For tickets and information, visit alvinailey.org/support/ailey-spirit-gala or call 212-405-9624.

The Masterful Movement program on Friday, June 17 at 8 pm highlights 20th century trailblazers whose work is central to modern dance. Masterful Movement introduces audiences to the company premiere of Paul Taylor's 1964 Duet. Set to the music of Franz Josef Haydn, Duet portrays a love, perhaps not new, but rather tried and true. The program also includes Alvin Ailey's The River and Robert Battle's Mass. Originally choreographed in 1970 for American Ballet Theatre and first performed by Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in 1980, The River combines classical ballet, modern dance, and jazz in sections suggesting tumbling rapids and slow currents on a voyage to the great sea, mirroring the journey of human existence. Mass, a thrilling ensemble work set to a score by Battle's frequent collaborator John Mackey, showcases his signature ritualistic choreography. Masterful Movement repeats on Sunday, June 19 at 3 pm.

Battle 10th Anniversary program brings to a culmination a celebratory year marking a decade of Robert Battle's leadership. The Saturday, June 18 2 pm Family Matinee spotlights Mr. Battle's choreography to the music of Ella Fitzgerald, Wynton Marsalis, Leontyne Price, Nina Simone, Stevie Wonder, and more. The program features a new production of his swirling duet Unfold, evoking the tenderness and ecstasy in Gustave Charpentier's aria "Depuis le jour" sung by the incomparable Leontyne Price, along with Ella, For Four, In/Side, Love Stories finale, Mass, and Takademe. A post-performance discussion with Robert Battle follows the program.

The inspiring finale for each performance is Alvin Ailey's masterpiece Revelations. Since its creation in 1960, Revelations has been seen by more audiences around the world than any other modern work, inspiring generations through its powerful storytelling and soul-stirring spirituals. Springing from Ailey's childhood memories of growing up in the south and attending services at Mount Olive Baptist Church in Texas, Revelations pays homage to the rich African American cultural heritage and explores the emotional spectrum of the human condition. Learn more about the visionary choreographer's life in Jamila Wignot's acclaimed Ailey documentary, now streaming on Hulu and PBS Passport.

In 1958, Alvin Ailey and a small group of dancers took the stage in New York and forever changed American dance and culture. One of the country's groundbreaking greats, the Company inspires all in a universal celebration of the human spirit using the African American cultural experience and the modern dance tradition. Now in its seventh decade, Ailey continues to move forward under the leadership of Robert Battle.

Tickets for the Lincoln Center engagement start at $29 and can be purchased beginning April 26 at noon at the David H. Koch Box Office, by phone at 212-496-0600, and online at alvinailey.org/LC. Discount tickets are available for students with an appropriate ID and for groups of 10 or more (discounts do not apply to $29 tickets). For group sales, contact 212-405-9082 or groupsales@alvinailey.org. For further information, visit www.alvinailey.org. The program schedule is detailed below.

Your health and safety are our top priority. All audience members are required to provide proof of vaccination and wear a mask inside the theater. Read more here about performance COVID-19 protocols.

Through August 31, Ailey ticket holders are welcome to join in the dance and take their first class for free at Ailey Extension with the "Ticket to Dance" promotion, either in-person at The Joan Weill Center for Dance-New York's largest building dedicate to dance-or online from the comfort of their homes. Students of all experience levels can select from a wide range of "real classes for real people," including dance and fitness techniques like hip-hop, Zumba®, Horton, yoga, West African, Pilates, ballet, Masala Bhangra, and more styles taught by Ailey's elite instructors. A full schedule of classes is available at alvinailey.org/extension.

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater's current coast-to-coast National Tour culminates on Mother's Day weekend, May 6 -8 at the beautiful Prudential Hall of the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, where Ailey is the Principal Resident Affiliate. For schedule and tickets, visit www.njpac.org.


In a Sentimental Mood (2022 World Premiere)

WORLD PREMIERE
Choreography by Jamar Roberts
Music: Duke Ellington and Rafiq Bhatia
An intimate scene from the domestic life of a couple becomes an exploration of love and desire in Resident Choreographer Jamar Roberts's world premiere. 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.


Duet (1964 / 2022 Company Premiere)

COMPANY PREMIERE
Choreography by Paul Taylor
Music: Josef Haydn
Paul Taylor's 1964 Duet, set to the music of Franz Josef Haydn, is a testament to the simplicity and clarity of his craft. Brief and beautifully shaped, it portrays a love, perhaps not new, but rather tried and true.


For Four (2021 World Premiere)

2021-22 SEASON WORLD PREMIERE
Choreography by Robert Battle
Music: Wynton Marsalis
Take four amazing Ailey dancers and add Wynton Marsalis's delicious jazz score-written in 4/4 time-and you'll understand why Robert Battle cheekily titled this exuberant short work For Four. Capturing the pent-up energy of a world cooped up during the pandemic, Battle expresses the drive to perform and the electricity of dancers coming together to create.

2021-2022 SEASON NEW PRODUCTIONS


The River (1970 / New Production 2021)


Choreography: Alvin Ailey
Original Score: Duke Ellington
Alvin Ailey's acclaimed collaboration with the musical genius Duke Ellington was choreographed and composed in 1970 for American Ballet Theatre and first performed by Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in 1980. One of 14 dances Ailey created to Ellington's music, The River was Ellington's first symphonic score written specifically for dance. Combining classical ballet, modern dance, and jazz, the suite suggests tumbling rapids and slow currents on its voyage to the great sea, mirroring the journey of life. With Ailey's mixture of light and playful yet also dark and romantic choreography balanced with Ellington's score, the work is an abstract celebration of birth, life, and rebirth. Robert Battle comments: "The River shows Alvin Ailey's range as a choreographer, and certainly the versatility of the dancers. Mr. Ailey always seemed to have a passport through all the different genres of dance while still retaining his essence."

Unfold (2007/ New Production 2021)


Choreography: Robert Battle
Music: Gustave Charpentier, Recorded by Leontyne Price
Artistic Director Robert Battle's sensuous, swirling duet evokes the tenderness and ecstasy in Gustave Charpentier's aria "Depuis le jour" sung by the incomparable Leontyne Price. With its fluid grace, this gem exemplifies the choreographer's skill for nuanced gesture and vivid imagery.

RETURNING FAVORITES


BUSK (2009 / 2019 Company Premiere)


Choreography by Aszure Barton
Music: Marcus Vinicius da Cruz de M. Morales, August Soderman, Ljova, Camille Saint- Saëns, Moondog, Daniel Belanger
Internationally renowned choreographer Aszure Barton invites us to enjoy the fragility, tenderness, and resilience that exist within the human experience. Set to a spirited score, BUSK has been described as watching the physical unfurling of the human psyche. Under Barton's direction, all facets of the dancers' bodies and minds are engaged, and the complex layering of movement reveals the inherent wisdom of the body. The dancers must tap into the collective-a hive mind-in order to execute Barton's layered and intricate choreographic structures that then give way to the nuance of each individual.

Ella (2008 / 2016 Company Premiere)


Choreography by Robert Battle
Music: Ella Fitzgerald
Originally created as a solo, this high-energy comical dance was reinvented by Mr. Battle as a duet for the Ailey company. Using a live concert recording of Fitzgerald performing the song "Airmail Special," Ella matches the iconic singer's virtuosic scatting with lightning-fast, articulated movement in an irresistible tour-de-force that leaves audiences (and the dancers) breathless.

In/Side (2008)


Choreography by Robert Battle
Music: Nina Simone
The vivid emotions of Nina Simone's "Wild is the Wind" play out in Robert Battle's gripping solo. Battle's bold, unrestrained signature style is evinced in this visceral cry of pure physicality. The piece, originally commissioned by Dance New Amsterdam, was created as part of its annual series "In the Company of Men," a celebration of the spirit of male dancers in New York [in light of the AIDS epidemic].

Love Stories finale (2004)


Choreography by Robert Battle
Music: Stevie Wonder & Clarence Paul-Henry Cosby
Love Stories was Artistic Director Emerita Judith Jamison's dynamic collaboration with hip-hop pioneer Rennie Harris and Artistic Director Robert Battle. Inspired by the African concept of "Sankofa," which teaches that "we don't know where we are going unless we know where we have been," this extraordinary ballet celebrates the heritage of African American dance and the rich legacy of Alvin Ailey. In the ballet's joyful third section, presented as a standalone piece this season, Robert Battle portrays a luminous future built on the lessons and legacy of the past, with a forceful push forward.

Mass (2004 / 2017 Company Premiere)


Choreography by Robert Battle
Music: John Mackey
Mass features a score by John Mackey, who has collaborated on multiple occasions with Robert Battle, including his 2015 world premiere Awakening. Commissioned for The Juilliard School in 2004, the movement in this work showcases Mr. Battle's signature ritualistic choreography.

Takademe (1999 / 2012 Company Premiere)


Choreography by Robert Battle
Music: Sheila Chandra
During his first season as Artistic Director, Mr. Battle chose to bring one of his first creations to the Ailey Company, Takademe. Previously performed by Ailey II, the complex, tightly woven rhythms of Indian Kathak dance are deconstructed and abstracted in this percussive, fast-paced work. Clear shapes and propulsive jumps mimic the vocalized rhythmic syllables of Sheila Chandra's jazzy score.


Revelations (1960)

SIGNATURE MASTERPIECE
Choreography by Alvin Ailey
Music: Traditional Spirituals
More than just a popular dance work, Revelations has become a cultural treasure, beloved by generations of fans and acclaimed as a musta??see for all. Alvin Ailey's signature masterpiece is a tribute to his heritage. Using African American spirituals, the work fervently explores the places of deepest grief and holiest joy in the soul. Seeing Revelations for the first time or the hundredth can be a transcendent experience. Audiences cheer, sing along, and dance in their seats from the opening notes of the plaintive "I Been 'Buked" to the rousing "Wade in the Water" and the triumphant finale, "Rocka My Soul in the Bosom of Abraham."

ABOUT Alvin Ailey AMERICAN DANCE THEATER


Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, recognized by U.S. Congressional resolution as a vital American "Cultural Ambassador to the World," grew from a nowa??fabled March 1958 performance in New York that changed forever the perception of American dance. Founded by Alvin Ailey, recent posthumous recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom-the nation's highest civilian honor, and guided by Judith Jamison beginning in 1989, the Company is now led by Robert Battle, whom Judith Jamison chose to succeed her on July 1, 2011. Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater has performed for an estimated 25 million people in 71 countries on six continents, promoting the uniqueness of the African American cultural experience and the preservation and enrichment of the American modern dance tradition. In addition to being the Principal Dance Company of New York City Center, where its performances have become a yeara??end tradition, the Ailey company performs annually at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC, the Auditorium Theatre in Chicago, the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miamia??Dade County in Miami, The Fox Theatre in Atlanta, Zellerbach Hall in Berkeley, CA, and at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark (where it is the Principal Resident Affiliate), and appears frequently in other major theaters throughout the United States and the world during extensive yearly tours. The Ailey organization also includes Ailey II (1974), a second performing company of emerging young dancers and innovative choreographers; The Ailey School (1969), one of the most extensive dance training programs in the world; Ailey Arts in Education & Community Programs, which brings dance into the classrooms, communities, and lives of people of all ages; and The Ailey Extension (2005), a program offering dance and fitness classes to the general public, which began with the opening of Ailey's permanent home-the largest building dedicated to dance in New York City, the dance capital of the world-named The Joan Weill Center for Dance, at 55th Street at 9th Avenue in New York City. For more information, visit www.alvinailey.org.

Photo credit: Dario Calmese



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