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Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater to Present Works by Kyle Abraham and Twyla Tharp at New York City Center

Programs also feature the Company's City Center premieres of Paul Taylor's DUET, Jamar Roberts' In a Sentimental Mood, and Ailey & Jazz programs.

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater to Present Works by Kyle Abraham and Twyla Tharp at New York City Center

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, New York City Center's Principal Dance Company and America's cultural ambassador to the world, has announced highlights of its always-anticipated annual season at New York City Center. Returning to its "home" theater for four weeks November 30 - December 24, 2022, the Ailey company will present a world premiere by Kyle Abraham, the company premiere of Twyla Tharp's Roy's Joys, and a new production of Alvin Ailey's Survivors. Programs also feature the Company's City Center premieres of Paul Taylor's DUET, Jamar Roberts' In a Sentimental Mood, and Ailey & Jazz programs performed with live music. Beginning with a one-night-only Opening Night Gala special program on November 30, the season showcases over half a dozen classic works by founder Alvin Ailey, including the always-inspiring, must-see masterpiece Revelations.

Artistic Director Robert Battle says, "The repertory I have chosen for this season puts audiences back in touch with some of the richest, deepest works Alvin Ailey ever choreographed, shows off the brilliance of our dancers in pieces by great contemporaries of Mr. Ailey-Twyla Tharp and Paul Taylor-and introduces everyone to amazing new works by Kyle Abraham and Jamar Roberts that find reservoirs of love and resilience in our complicated lives and times. This is going to be a season overflowing with the joy of connections-eclectic, surprising, moving connections-between eras, between dancemakers, and between people."

On Friday, December 2 at 8pm acclaimed choreographer Kyle Abraham presents his third commission for the Ailey company, Are You In Your Feelings?, celebrating Black culture, Black music, and the youthful spirit that perseveres in us all. Scored to a "mixtape" of soul, hip-hop, and R&B, the work explores the connections among music, communication, and personal memory.

Continuing to expand its diverse repertory, the company offers its premiere of Twyla Tharp's silky and sultry Roy's Joys (1997), embodying the spontaneity of a 1940s and 50s jazz soundtrack by Roy Eldridge on Friday, December 9 at 8pm. Mixing vernacular dance with ballet and modern technique, Roy's Joys exudes an easy, carefree energy that shows Tharp at her rollicking best.

Taking the stage on Tuesday, December 7 at 7:30pm is a new production of Survivors (1986), Alvin Ailey's impassioned tribute to the profound courage and terrible anguish of Nelson and Winnie Mandela, which has not been seen since 1988. A soundtrack of Max Roach's richly varied drumming and Abbey Lincoln's powerful vocals sets the emotional tone for a work that presents a portrait of people transformed by injustice and lifts up those who resist oppression in any form.

Following acclaimed premieres earlier this year, the Company presents Paul Taylor's 1964 DUET, set to the music of Franz Josef Haydn and portraying a love, perhaps not new, but rather tried and true; and In a Sentimental Mood by Jamar Roberts, 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. Along with Alvin Ailey's classics Cry, Memoria, and Revelations, the season features a number of the founder's works set to the music of the great Duke Ellington, including Night Creature, Reflections in D, Pas de Duke, and The River.

Special season programs include Ailey & Ellington, showcasing four ballets Alvin Ailey created that celebrate the musical genius of Duke Ellington (December 3, 4 mat); All Ailey performances comprised entirely of works by Alvin Ailey (December 7, 10 eve); Ailey Classics spotlighting timeless favorites (December 10 mat, 13 eve); and All New programs of season premieres and new productions (December 17, 21, 23 eve). Ailey & Jazz live music performances featuring rising stars of the future of jazz will take place on December 16 eve, 17 mat and 18 mat. The Ailey Classics program on December 13 will pay tribute to cherished Chairman Emeritus Stanley Plesent, who was pivotal in establishing the Board of Trustees 50 years ago and leading it for 16 years. A close confidante of Mr. Ailey and a constant presence at Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater events and performances, Stanley was a passionate supporter who remained actively involved on the Board until his passing earlier this year.

The engagement also includes Family Matinee performances each Saturday at 2pm (December 3, 10, 17 *except Christmas eve), followed by a Q&A session with Ailey's revered dancers. Whether watching as a child for the first time, as a parent remembering his or her childhood experience with dance, or as a family that has made Ailey a holiday tradition, all can enjoy the magic of Ailey. Ailey fans are in for a treat Saturday, December 10 when Associate Artistic Director Matthew Rushing, who is celebrating his 30th anniversary with Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, is featured in a Q&A session. Inspiring Ailey audiences since 1992, Matthew was acclaimed as "The Peyton Manning of Dance" and has been revered as one of the great male dancers on the American stage. For three decades he has dedicated his life to the Ailey organization by touching the hearts and minds of audiences around the world with his unparalleled artistry and electrifying spirit. A performance schedule is attached (subject to change). This season Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater proudly welcomes four new dancers, three of whom trained in the Ailey organization. Alisha Rena Peek (Upper Marlboro, MD) and Deidre Rogan (Fort Myers, FL) are both graduates of the Ailey/Fordham BFA Program and former members of Ailey II, while Hannah Alissa Richardson (Toronto, Ontario Canada) is a former member of Ailey II and a graduate of The Ailey School Certificate Program. Xavier Mack (Washington, D.C.) previously performed for five years with Dallas Black Dance Theatre.

Tickets starting at $29 are on sale Tuesday, October 11 at the New York City Center box office, through CityTix at (212) 581-1212, or at www.alvinailey.org or www.nycitycenter.org. Discount tickets are available for Ailey Super Fans who purchase tickets for more than one performance, for students with an appropriate ID, and for groups of 10 or more (discounts do not apply to $29 tickets). For group sales, call 212-405-9082 or email groupsales@alvinailey.org. Ailey Young New York invites those between the ages of 21 - 35 to purchase 50% off tickets $75 and over for all performances December 1 - December 24 with promo code MODERN (up to 4 tickets). For further information about Ailey's New York City Center season, please visit www.alvinailey.org.

Your health and safety are our top priority. Masks must be worn by all audience members at all times. Read more here about performance COVID-19 protocols.

Ahead of the New York City Center engagement, fans can join in learning classic Ailey style and choreography from cherished former Company members during Ailey Extension's Saturday workshop series. Associate Artistic Director Matthew Rushing celebrates his 30th anniversary with the Company by leading a Contemporary Modern Masterclass on November 19 at 3pm ET teaching participants how to explore their personal dance style and discover unfamiliar ways of moving. Students from all corners of the earth can learn classic moves from Alvin Ailey's signature masterpiece when Director of Ailey Extension Lisa Johnson-Willingham leads a free online Revelations Around the World Workshop on December 3 at 3pm ET. Dancers can dive into Alvin Ailey's classically influenced choreography during a Night Creature Workshop on December 10 at 3pm ET led by Ailey Extension Instructor Sarita Allen, a world-renowned dancer who was in the original cast of Night Creature and chosen by Mr. Ailey himself to perform the lead role. Ailey Extension's special workshops and weekly "real classes for real people" are open to students of all levels-no prior dance experience is necessary to join in the fun! For more details or to sign up, please visit alvinailey.org/extension.


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 now‐fabled March 1958 performance in New York that changed forever the perception of American dance. Founded by Alvin Ailey, 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 year‐end tradition, the Ailey company performs annually at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC, the Auditorium Theatre in Chicago, 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 world during extensive 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 by Paul Kolnik



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