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Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater's New York City Center Homecoming Season Kicks Off This Week

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater kicks off its homecoming season with a one-night only gala benefit on Wednesday.

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater's New York City Center Homecoming Season Kicks Off This Week

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater kicks off its homecoming season with a one-night only gala benefit on Wednesday, December 1 at 7pm, complete with an exceptional performance at New York City Center and dinner-party at the Ziegfeld Ballroom.

The joyous celebration "honoring our audience, our inspiration" supports the creation of new works, scholarships to The Ailey School, and Ailey's educational programs for children. The event's co-chairs are Emily & Len Blavatnik, Paulette Mullings Bradnock & Howard Bradnock, Daria L & Eric J. Wallach, Joan & Sandy Weill and Pamela D. Zilly & John H. Schaefer; vice chairs are Jill & Gunther Bright and Anthony A. Lewis.

This gala features Artistic Director Robert Battle's tour-de-force duet Ella with the added thrill of live music by GRAMMY-nominated vocalist Jazzmeia Horn, the forward- looking Love Stories finale portraying a luminous future built on the lessons and legacy of the past, and Clifton Brown and talented students from The Ailey School in Bird Lives!, an excerpt from Alvin Ailey's dance tribute to jazz legend Charlie "Bird" Parker. 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 Danielle Brooks, Dario Calmese, gymnast Nia Dennis, fashion designer Tremaine Emory, Jillian Hervey (Lion Babe), Sunny Hostin, Harry Lennix, Arthur Lewis, Ally Love, Julia Stiles, Pose's Ryan Jamaal Swain, Lorraine Toussaint, Danielle Moné Truitt ("Law & Order: Organized Crime"), Jamila Wignot ("AILEY" director), Larry Wilmore and Ricardo A. Zayas ("West Side Story").

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 3: HOLDING SPACE - CITY CENTER STAGE DEBUT

On Friday, December 3 Ailey reveals the world premiere of Resident choreographer Jamar Roberts' Holding Space, which has been translated from dance film to center stage. Against a backdrop of civil unrest and our relentless threat upon the natural world, Holding Space examines the ways in which we are taking care. It asks: in what ways can we collectively accommodate one another to better traverse this new and unprecedented terrain? This ensemble work functions as a container, a sacred space created to give shape to, and hold, the complex emotions of this moment. At its core, it is about healing and the quest for sustainable pathways towards wholeness.

Performance Dates: Dec. 3 eve, Dec. 9 eve

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 3: FOR FOUR - CITY CENTER STAGE DEBUT

Take four amazing Ailey dancers and add in Wynton Marsalis' 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.

Performance Dates: Dec. 3 eve, Dec. 7 eve, Dec. 9 eve, Dec. 11 eve, Dec. 17 eve

MORE WEEK 1 HIGHLIGHTS

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 4: 50 YEARS OF CRY

50 Years of Cry on Saturday, December 4 at 8pm celebrates Alvin Ailey's beloved classic dedicated to "all Black women everywhere - especially our mothers." The 16-minute tour-de-force solo, created on his stunning muse, Judith Jamison, was an instant sensation when it debuted on May 4, 1971 at New York City Center and went on to become an enduring work of American art. Ms. Jamison has since taught the treasured role to subsequent generations of Ailey women, such as Jacqueline Green who is seen performing the iconic work in the current Netflix film "Really Love."

Performance Dates: Dec. 4 eve, Dec. 15 eve

MATINEE SERIES

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

Performance Dates: Dec. 5 mat, 12 mat, 19 mat

BLUES SUITE WORKSHOP AT AILEY EXTENSION - DECEMBER 4

Join world-renowned dancer, former Ailey Company member, and Ailey Extension instructor, Sarita Allen for a special workshop learning the choreography from Alvin Ailey's Blues Suite on Saturday December 4 from 2-3:30pm ET. Blues Suite is often documented as Mr. Ailey's first masterpiece, where he had found his own miraculous voice as a creative artist presenting real people on the concert dance stage, defining his choreographic genius. As Jennifer Dunning wrote in her book Alvin Ailey: A Life in Dance, "[Blues Suite] is set in a 'sporting house.' The characters are the men and women who frequent the place, drinking, dancing, and flirting to the music of the blues over the course of a night that ends with the early morning sounds of a train and church bells." This workshop is accessible both in-studio and online.



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