Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater's Spirit Gala Raises $1 Million

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater's Spirit Gala Raises $1 Million

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater's two-week spring engagement at Lincoln Center's David H. Koch Theater kicked off in an exceptional way on Wednesday, June 11th with Revelations Celebration on the Plaza - a free grand dance workshop, where hundreds of people learned excerpts of Alvin Ailey's signature American masterpiece Revelations; followed by The Ailey Spirit Gala, a one-night-only benefit performance and party with Honorary Chair Vanessa Williams and sponsored by FedEx Corporation. The event's Co-Chairs were Gina F. Adams, Lynne & Anthony M. Carvette, Almaz & Marc Strachan, Dr. Eboni Marshall Turman & Rossie E. Turman III, and Pamela D. Zilly & John H. Schaefer. Gala Vice Chairs were Michele & Timothy Barakett, Natasha Leibel Levine, M.D. & Harlan Levine, M.D., Leslie & Tom Maheras, and Celia & Henry McGee. The evening helped raise over $1 million for Alvin Ailey's extensive educational programs for young people, including AileyCamp and scholarships to The Ailey School.

The inaugural Ailey Spirit Gala Benefit featured performances by all the divisions of the Ailey organization, together for the first time ever on the Lincoln Center stage. The performance included the world-renowned Ailey dancers in excerpts of Wayne McGregor's Chroma, Aszure Barton's LIFT, and a new production of David Parsons' signature solo, Caught. The rising stars of Ailey II performed an excerpt of Jennifer Archibald's Wings, gifted young dancers from The Ailey School (ages 6 to 23) showcased their talents and the breadth of the program's training in Synthesis II, and talented students from AileyCamp performed a work inspired by Ronald K. Brown's Grace. An expanded cast of 50 of the present and future stars of Ailey came together for a memorable finale of Alvin Ailey's timeless, Revelations.

The celebration continued at the gala party on the promenade with Ailey's Board of Trustees led by Chair Joan Weill and President Daria L. Wallach, and 800 guests including Artistic Director Robert Battle, Artistic Director Emerita Judith Jamison, Chairman of B.E.T. Debra Lee, Actor and star of "Scandal" Joe Morton, Grammy Award-winning singer Melanie Fiona, Celebrity Stylist June Ambrose, Kiyah Wright & Chenoa Maxwell of OWN Network's "Love in the City," Elaine Wynn of Wynn Resorts and many more who joined in dinner and dancing with Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater to the musical stylings of deejay to the stars, DJ M.O.S.

After seeing Ailey's amazing dancers at Lincoln Center June 11-22, New Yorkers can spring into summer during NYC Dance Week, June 19th - June 28th. New students can experience any one of The Ailey Extension's 25 different techniques - including Zumba, Hip Hop, Samba, House, Danzatone, Yoga, and West African - for FREE. Current students will receive a bonus class with purchase of a 10-Class Card. Now in its third year, New York City Dance Week collaborates with noted studios in New York City to celebrate the joy and diversity of dance with an exhilarating 10-day event of FREE dance, fitness and wellness classes that encourage all to live active, healthy lifestyles. For more information visit or

Photo by Dario Calmese Jr.