Ailey All Access Upcoming Schedule to Include Camille A. Brown's City of Rain, Artist Conversations and Online Classes
During challenging times, the Ailey organization continues Alvin Ailey's legacy by inspiring people around the globe, reaching nearly 12 million people online. Ailey All Access, a series of streaming programming, including free weekly performance broadcasts, Ailey dancer curated short films and conversations, an assortment of Ailey Extension dance and fitness classes, and more.
Viewers are welcomed to virtually connect with Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater performances every Thursday. May 21 at 7pm ET is the streaming debut of Camille A. Brown's City of Rain, a quietly lyrical ballet honoring a close friend that passed away due to an illness that paralyzed him from the waist down. A trailblazing black female choreographer, Ms. Brown has been honored with a 2014 Bessie Award for Outstanding Production for the work Mr. TOL E. RAncE (Camille A. Brown & Dancers), and choreographed Broadway's Choir Boy (TONY nominee for Best Choreography), the TONY Award-winning revival of Once On This Island, and the Emmy Award-Winning television special, "Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert."
In conjunction with the broadcast, Ailey will share bonus videos and conversations about City of Rain. Additionally, a teaser video will debut Thursday morning featuring dancers Belén Indhira Pereyra, Jacquelin Harris and Jessica Amber Pinkett discussing the re-creation of the ballet. The performance series continues May 28 at 7pm ET with Artistic Director Robert Battle's The Hunt, a work examining the relationship between modern sports and the rituals of the gladiators set to a wildly percussive soundtrack by Les Tambours du Bronx.
During the month of June, two programs will be sure to bring joy to all. On June 4 at 8pm ET, a 2015 film of an Ailey at Lincoln Center performance (in conjunction with the new Lincoln Center at Home portal) will make its streaming premiere. In addition to witnessing the soul-stirring Revelations, described by The New York Times as "one of the great works of the human spirit," this electrifying program features Wayne McGregor's sumptuous Chroma, set to a score by Joby Talbot with orchestrations of songs by The White Stripes; Ronald K. Brown's Grace, a powerful meeting of modern and West African dance with a soundtrack by Duke Ellington, Roy Davis, and Fela Kuti; and Robert Battle's humorous, high-flying Takademe. Then the following week on Thursday, June 11 at 7:30pm ET, the Ailey organization will present the first-ever Ailey Spirit Gala global broadcast with a one-night-only program featuring the incomparable Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, the rising stars of Ailey II, gifted young dancers from The Ailey School and talented students from the AileyCamp along with special guest appearances.
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater is dancing together while apart with curated series, Dancer Diaries and #TheShowMustGoOn. #TheShowMustGoOn continues with a short film featuring the dancers performing an excerpt of Camille A. Brown's City of Rain. The latest Dancer Diary features James Gilmer conveying poetry in movement. This week, fans can tune into Ailey's Instagram live at 1pm ET for "Conversations With..." Courtney Celeste Spears and fellow dancer Vernard Gilmore on Wednesday, May 20 as well as Michael Jackson Jr. and Samantha Figgins on Saturday, May 23.
Ailey's first Resident Choreographer Jamar Roberts has been hard at work creating a stunning short dance film while social distancing for a commission from Guggenheim's Works & Process Artists (WPA) Virtual Commission, which was created as a direct response to the pandemic to financially support artists and nurture their creative process during these challenging times. Cooped, choreographed, danced and filmed by Jamar Roberts, with music composed and performed by David Watson (Bagpipes) and Tony Buck (Drums), will be shared by Ailey All Access after its premiere on the social pages of Works & Process at the Guggenheim (@worksandprocess) on Sunday, May 24 at 7:30pm ET. Inspired by the disproportionate number of black and brown bodies affected by the COVID-19 crisis, Mr. Roberts' Cooped is a fever dream reflecting the fear of sickness and anxiety of quarantine in the context of the historical trauma of being relegated to live in and within confined spaces.
Ailey Extension is introducing two new techniques to its rapidly growing lineup of weekly livestreamed classes. Starting Thursday May 21, dancers can learn classic Broadway Theater Dance movement and styles in Beginner Theater Dance with Lainie Munro each Thursday at 12pm ET. Each Beginner Theater Dance class focuses on a different musical and covers technique, vocabulary, style, acting, and performance. Students can also explore a range of natural body movements through a series of technique exercises in Beginner Limon with Becky Brown each Thursday at 1:30pm ET. Limon technique provides dancers with an organic approach to movement that easily adapts to a range of choreographic styles. With 25 livestreamed classes and several on-demand options during Physical Fitness Month this May, Ailey Extension's online classes allow students all over the world to explore different dance styles seven days a week. For more details about Ailey Extension's variety of class options - which include Horton, hip hop, vogue, samba, West African and other techniques taught by Ailey Extension's elite instructors - students can visit aileyextension.com/keepdancing.
During these unprecedented times, contributions to the Still, We Dance campaign enables the Ailey organizations to move the organization forward while serving its community. Gifts of any size help make it possible for Ailey to offer a variety of programming through Ailey All Access and prepare for the upcoming 2020-21 season paying tribute to six decades of Revelations.
To enjoy a variety of digital content, follow Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and the Ailey Extension on Facebook and Instagram, Ailey II on Facebook, and The Ailey School on Instagram, as well as visit Ailey All Access and www.alvinailey.org regularly for updates.
Photo Credit: Paul Kolnik