Artistic Director Robert Battle Announces Exciting Highlights To Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater's Lincoln Center Season
Artistic Director Robert Battle has announced exciting highlights to Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater's Lincoln Center season at the David H. Koch Theater June 13 - 17. In addition to three diverse programs - Celebrate Women, Ailey, Then & Now, and Musical Icons - the engagement also includes The Ailey Spirit Gala benefit; three new Company dancers; and a series of activities for all as Ailey enters its sixth decade.
"Celebrating Revelations" Workshop: Wednesday, June 13 at 6pm - Josie Robertson Plaza (20 Lincoln Center Plaza)
The engagement begins on Wednesday, June 13 with a free "Celebrating Revelations" workshop on Lincoln Center's Josie Robertson Plaza. Ailey Master Teacher and National Director of AileyCamp Nasha Thomas leads the workshop, and former Company star Renee Robinson will join her in teaching people of all ages and levels movement from Alvin Ailey's must-see masterpiece, and the world's best-known work of modern dance. The workshop is sure to get participants excited for that evening's 8pm performance, and have them dancing along in their seats during the Revelations finale. This activity also kicks off a series of free SummerStage Revelations workshops taking place in parks throughout the city (Jun 22, Jul 13, Jul 27, Aug 10, Aug 16). Click here for SummerStage workshop details.
NYC Dance Week: Thursday, June 14 - Saturday, June 23 - The Joan Weill Center for Dance (405 West 55th Street)
The free activities continue with NYC Dance Week (June 14 - 23), a citywide celebration during which Ailey Extension offers three free dance and fitness classes each day for new students, including Horton (the modern dance technique seen in Revelations), West African, hip-hop, ballet, Zumba, yoga, and more. In addition, Ailey Extension will offer two classes that will be free for all students, new and returning - Latin Night with Katherine Jimenez on Saturday, June 16 at 4pm, and DanceFit with Karen Arceneaux on Friday, June 22 at 6pm. Click here for the full schedule, and to register.
THE AILEY SPIRIT GALA BENEFIT
On Thursday, June 14 at 7pm, all parts of the organization take the Lincoln Center stage during The Ailey Spirit Gala benefit performance. Honorary Chair for the evening is actor, singer, and activist Jussie Smollett, who stars on Fox's Empire and recently released his debut album, Sum of My Music. Along with the world-renowned Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, the one-night-only benefit performance will include the rising stars of Ailey II, gifted young dancers from The Ailey School, and blossoming students from AileyCamp, and culminates with a Revelations finale. Honoring Board member Jaishri Kapoor and Vikas Kapoor, the evening will raise vital funds to support scholarships for talented students of The Ailey School and Ailey's extensive Arts In Education & Community Programs. A soirée on the promenade follows the performance. Tickets are available online at alvinailey.org/ailey-spirit-gala or by calling 212-405-9031. Click here for the complete press release.
WEEKEND ACTIVITIES FOR THE FAMILY
Family Matinee - Saturday, June 16 at 2pm
Following the Musical Icons Saturday matinee program, the entire family is invited to stay in the theater for a free Q&A with the Ailey dancers, moderated by Rehearsal Director and Guest Artist Matthew Rushing.
Father's Day - Sunday, June 17 at 3pm and 7:30pm
Two exciting Sunday programs offer an unforgettable Father's Day experience. At 3pm, enjoy the Ailey, Then & Now program, featuring works by choreographers central to the Ailey repertory; at 7:30pm, the Musical Icons program is sure to move the whole family with ballets set to music by legendary artists.
This season the Company welcomes three former Ailey II dancers who also attended The Ailey School, two as part of the Ailey/Fordham BFA program - which is heading into its 20th year. Born and bred in Bronx, NY, Khalia Campbell just finished her second year with Ailey II, and was a scholarship student at The Ailey School. Courtney Celeste Spears, who was born in the Bahamas and raised in Baltimore, MD, is a Summa Cum Laude graduate of the Ailey/Fordham BFA program, and was the recipient of a 2015 Princess Grace Award. An August, GA native, Christopher R. Wilson was a scholarship student in the Ailey/Fordham BFA program and just completed his second year with Ailey II.
Throughout the engagement audiences can experience the grace and power of Ailey's 32 incredible dancers on three dynamic programs. Celebrate Women (Wed, 6/13 at 7:30pm, Sat, 6/16 at 8pm) features works by three trailblazing female choreographers - Jessica Lang's Ailey choreographic debut, EN; Judith Jamison's emotional and sensual A Case of You duet; and Jawole Willa Jo Zollar's gripping portrait of homelessness, Shelter. Ailey, Then & Now (Fri, June 15 at 8pm, Sun 6/17 at 3pm) highlights visionaries whose work is central to the Ailey repertory - Talley Beatty's sizzling Stack-Up, set to 1970s music (Earth, Wind & Fire and more); and Artistic Director Robert Battle's striking Mass, and emotional In/Side, set to Nina Simone's "Wild is the Wind." Musical Icons (Sat, 6/16 at 2pm, Sun, 6/17 at 7:30pm) is sure to move audiences with a series of works featuring music by legendary artists - Ailey dancer Jamar Roberts' critically-acclaimed Members Don't Get Weary, with music by John Coltrane; Twyla Tharp's breathtaking The Golden Section, set to a rocking David Byrne score; and Battle's tour-de-force duet Ella, set to Ella Fitzgerald's virtuosic scatting. Alvin Ailey's must-see masterpiece Revelations is the uplifting finale of each performance.
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater inspires all in a universal celebration of the human spirit using the African-American cultural experience and American modern dance tradition. 60 years after its founding, Ailey continues to move forward under the leadership of Robert Battle, revealing once again why Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater is one of the world's most beloved dance companies.
Tickets for the Lincoln Center engagement starting at $29 can be purchased at the David H. Koch Box Office, by phone at 212-496-0600, and online at alvinailey.org/LC. For further information about discounts for groups, students, and Ailey's tour performances, please visit www.alvinailey.org. The program schedule is detailed below.