FOUR CORNERS, PAS DE DUKE and More Set for Alvin Ailey Dance Theater's 2013-14 Season

FOUR CORNERS, PAS DE DUKE and More Set for Alvin Ailey Dance Theater's 2013-14 SeasonAlvin Ailey American Dance Theater, beloved as one of the world's most popular dance companies and New York City Center's Principal Dance Company, will return to the New York City Center stage for the 42nd consecutive year from December 4, 2013 - January 5, 2014with exciting performances that have become a joyous holiday tradition.

Artistic Director Robert Battle continues to expand the Company's diverse repertory with premieres and new productions representing a wide range of important choreographic voices that give Ailey's extraordinary group of artists new ways to inspire audiences.

In-demand choreographer Aszure Barton's world premiere is an exhilarating conversation with Ailey's renowned dancers, who inspired the process, movement and composition, as well as the original, percussive score by musical partner Curtis Macdonald. With a collaborative stylistic approach that is constantly evolving and like no other, Barton's unique and award-winning choreographic achievements are increasingly gaining wide recognition and have been presented by a diverse group of important national and international dance companies.

Wayne McGregor's Chroma is a ballet filled with layered, beautiful dancing and astonishing lifts. The Ailey company premiere, supported by commissioning funds from New York City Center, marks the first time a work by this multi award-winning British choreographer will appear in the Ailey repertory. Set to an amalgam of original music by Joby Talbot and orchestrations of music by Jack White III of The White Stripes, the work explores McGregor's curiosity of a concept freed from whiteness and the drama of the human body. Created in 2006 for The Royal Ballet, a luminous, minimalist set designed by architect John Pawson uses motifs of inside and outside, entrance and exit, light and shadow, void and plenitude, to create a spatially charged environment explored through the medium of the ten dancers' bodies.

Modern dance innovator Bill T. Jones's D-Man in the Waters is a true modern-dance classic and a New York Dance and Performance ("Bessie") Award-winning work. Set to Mendelssohn's Octet for Strings in E-flat Major, Op. 20 (1825), it is a celebration of life and the resiliency of the human spirit that embodies loss, hope and triumph. The addition of this joyful tour-de-force to Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater's repertory comes 30 years after Alvin Ailey originally invited Bill T. Jones to create Fever Swamp for the Company.

Ailey's extraordinary dancers have become known as inspiring interpreters of the unique dance storytelling of celebrated choreographer Ronald K. Brown.Four Corners, set to the music of Carl Hancock Rux and various artists, recently had its acclaimed world premiere during Ailey's historic engagement at Lincoln Center's David H. Koch Theater. Using Brown's signature blend of modern dance and West African idioms, the work's eleven dancers bring to life the vision of four angels standing on the four corners of the earth holding the four winds.

For the 2013-2014 season, Associate Artistic Director Masazumi Chaya will restage new productions of The River and Pas de Duke - two of the 14 ballets founder Alvin Ailey created during his career that celebrate the musical genius of the legendary American composer Duke Ellington.

Originally choreographed in 1970 for American Ballet Theatre and first performed by Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in 1980, The River features Ellington's first symphonic score written specifically for dance. The suite combines classical ballet, modern dance and jazz in sections suggesting tumbling rapids and slow currents on a voyage to the great sea, mirroring the journey of human existence.

Pas de Duke was Alvin Ailey's modern dance translation of a classical pas de deux honoring two of the most renowned dancers in the world, Judith Jamison and Mikhail Baryshnikov. It was first presented as part of the "Ailey Celebrates Ellington" festival at Lincoln Center's New York State Theater in 1976, commemorating the nation's bicentennial with America's two great art forms - modern dance and jazz music. Last staged for Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater during the 2006-2007 season, it captures the exuberance of the star dancers' qualities and techniques as the male and female soloists go toe-to-toe and line-for-line in a bravura and playful competition.

A special performance will be held on Tuesday, December 17th celebrating renowned Guest Artist Matthew Rushing, who has been inspiring Ailey audiences for over two decades. A former student of The Ailey School and member of Ailey II, who was also appointed Rehearsal Director by Robert Battle, Rushing has been acclaimed as one of the great male artists on the American concert dance stage.

"It is exciting to pair the amazing artistry of the Ailey dancers with important choreographic voices to further expand the repertory and give our audiences in New York and around the world a cornucopia of treasures to enjoy. It gives me great pleasure to provide a platform to share new and acclaimed works by a variety of dance makers - from Aszure Barton, Ronald K. Brown and Bill T. Jones to Wayne McGregor, Ohad Naharin and Ji?í Kylián," stated Artistic Director Robert Battle. "Along with performances of repertory favorites, new productions from our founder Alvin Ailey's legendary collaboration with Duke Ellington, and the opportunity to pay tribute to the incomparable Matthew Rushing, there will be much to see and celebrate during Ailey's five-week holiday season at New York City Center."

The December 4th Opening Night Gala Benefit performance and party will launch the season with a fundraiser to support Ailey's extensive educational and training programs for young people. Following the exciting company premiere performance of Chroma, Revelations danced to live music will provide the inspiring finale for the memorable opening.

In addition to performances of Ailey classics, including Alvin Ailey's signature American masterpiece Revelations, notable ballets from Ailey's recent seasons will also be presented, including Ronald K. Brown's landmark and spiritually-charged Grace, Ji?í Kylián's sensual and visually surprising Petite Mort, Garth Fagan's seminal From Before, Kyle Abraham's dynamic multi-faceted Another Night, Ohad Naharin's unique and innovative Minus 16, modern dance master Paul Taylor's Arden Court and hip-hop choreographer Rennie Harris' soul-lifting Home.

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater inspires all in a universal celebration of the human spirit using the African-American cultural experience and the American modern dance tradition. Having embarked on an exciting new era in Ailey history, Ailey's 30 dancers will move audiences in a diverse repertory of premieres, new productions and repertory classics by a variety of choreographers, revealing once again why Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater is one of the world's most beloved dance companies.

Tickets starting at $25 go on sale September 3rd and can be purchased at the New York City Center Box Office, through CityTix at (212) 581-1212 or online 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 $25 tickets). For group sales, call 212-405-9082 or e-mail groupsales@alvinailey.org. For further information about the Alvin Ailey New York City Center season please visit www.alvinailey.org.

For further information, the public may visit www.alvinailey.org.

The 2013-2014 Season Program: Highlights:

Artistic Director Robert Battle continues to add dynamic new choreographic voices to expand Ailey's diverse repertory and provide Ailey's extraordinary dancers with new ways to inspire. The premieres and new productions provide a platform for a rising and unique dance collaborator, a celebrated choreographer whose unique dance storytelling is inspiringly interpreted by the Ailey dancers, and exposes Ailey audiences and dancers to a multi award-winning international choreographer whose work is being performed by Ailey for the first time. The new season presents a signature work by an American dance innovator and new productions of cherished works from the company founder's celebration of the legendary musical genius Duke Ellington.

2013-2014 Season World Premieres:

Title TBA (2013)

Choreography by Aszure Barton Original Music by Curtis Macdonald

Robert Battle has commissioned in-demand choreographer Aszure Barton to create a world premiere on Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater for the 2013-2014 season. Set to an original, percussive score by musical collaborator Curtis Macdonald, the body of music, like the work itself, is inspired and driven by the energy of the dancers. With a collaborative stylistic approach that is constantly evolving like no other, Barton's exhilarating conversation and relationship with Ailey's renowned dancers informs the process, movement, composition and atmosphere of the creation by a wonderful group of artists. Dance Magazine described her work as "vulnerable and feisty, brightly adept yet peculiar, witty and impetuously wild." Born and raised in Alberta, Canada, Barton received her formal training at the National Ballet School in Toronto. Barton has created works for Mikhail Baryshnikov, The National Ballet of Canada, Nederlands Dans Theater, American Ballet Theatre, the Martha Graham Dance Company, Sydney Dance Company, and Les Ballet Jazz de Montréal (Resident Choreographer 2005-08), among others. She recently received the Banff Centre's 2012 Koerner Award for Choreography and Canada's prestigious Arts and Letters Award for her outstanding choreographic achievements.

Four Corners (2013)

Choreography by Ronald K Brown Music: Carl Hancock Rux, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, and Yacoub

Ailey's extraordinary dancers have become known as inspiring interpreters of the unique dance storytelling of celebrated choreographer Ronald K. Brown. Brown's Four Corners, set to the music of Carl Hancock Rux and various artists, brings to life the vision of four angels standing on the four corners of the earth holding the four winds. Drawing inspiration from the lyrics of Rux's "Lamentations," Four Corners trails eleven dancers as they rise to seek a life of peace on the "mountaintop;" a powerful and hope-filled journey of tribulation, devotion and triumph. Ronald K. Brown is renowned for his signature blend of modern dance and West African idioms in works that often stimulate deeper examinations of issues of spirituality, community responsibility and liberation. This is Brown's first collaboration with the critically-acclaimed Carl Hancock Rux, but his fifth work set on Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, including the landmark work Grace.

2013-14 Season Company Premieres:

Chroma (2006)

Choreography by Wayne McGregor Music by Joby Talbot and The White Stripes

Wayne McGregor's Chroma is a ballet filled with layered, beautiful dancing and astonishing lifts. The Ailey company premiere, supported by commissioning funds from New York City Center, marks the first time a work by this multi award-winning British choreographer will appear in the Ailey repertory. Set to an amalgam of original music by Joby Talbot and orchestrations of music by Jack White III of The White Stripes, the work explores McGregor's curiosity of a concept freed from whiteness and the drama of the human body. Created in 2006 for The Royal Ballet, a luminous, minimalist set designed by architect John Pawson uses motifs of inside and outside, entrance and exit, light and shadow, void and plenitude, to create a spatially charged environment explored through the medium of the ten dancers' bodies.

Wayne McGregor CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) is a multi award-winning British choreographer, renowned for his physically testing choreography and ground-breaking collaborations. He is the Artistic Director of Wayne McGregor | Random Dance, Resident Company at Sadler's Wells Theatre in London, Resident Choreographer of The Royal Ballet (appointed 2006) and frequent creator of new work for La Scala, Milan, Paris Opera Ballet, Nederlands Dans Theatre, Stuttgart Ballet and New York City Ballet; as well as movement director for theatre, film (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire) and music video (Radiohead's Lotus Flower). His recent productions include new work for the Royal Ballet and National Gallery Titan Metamorphosis project (July 2012), a large-scale public dance work, Big Dance Trafalgar Square, in celebration of the London 2012 Olympics (July 2012), and a new work for San Francisco Ballet, Borderlands, which premiered in January 2013.

D-Man In The Waters (Part I) (1989, revised 1998)

Choreography by Bill T. Jones Music by Felix Mendelssohn

Bill T. Jones's joyful tour-de-force, D-Man in the Waters is a true modern-dance classic and a New York Dance and Performance ("Bessie") Award-winning work. It is a celebration of life and the resiliency of the human spirit that embodies loss, hope and triumph. Set to Mendelssohn's Octet for Strings in E-flat Major, Op. 20 (1825), the work is one of the finest examples of the post-modern aesthetic and was featured in PBS's landmark film Dancing in the Light: Six Dances by African-American Choreographers. D-Man in the Waters is dedicated to Demian Acquavella. Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater first performed choreography by Bill T. Jones in 1983 when Alvin Ailey invited him to create Fever Swamp on the Company. Jones choreographed and performed worldwide with his late partner, Arnie Zane, before forming the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company in 1982, for which he has created more than 140 works. Bill T. Jones is the recipient of numerous recognitions, including the Kennedy Center Honors; Tony Award (FELA! and Spring Awakening); Obie Award; the 2010 Jacob's Pillow Dance Award; the 2005 Wexner Prize; the 2005 Samuel H. Scripps American Dance Festival Award for Lifetime Achievement; the 2003 Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize; and the 1994 MacArthur "Genius" Award. In 2011, Jones was named Executive Artistic Director of New York Lives Arts.

2013-14 Season New Productions:

The River (1970) Choreography: Alvin Ailey Original Score: Duke Ellington

The River is Alvin Ailey's acclaimed collaboration with the late musical genius Duke Ellington, choreographed and composed in 1970 for American Ballet Theatre and first performed by Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in 1980. One of 14 dances Ailey created to Ellington's music,The River was Ellington's first symphonic score written specifically for dance. Combining classical ballet, modern dance and jazz, the suite suggests tumbling rapids and slow currents on its voyage to the great sea, mirroring the journey of life. The River has been restaged byAssociate Artistic Director Masazumi Chaya for several companies in addition to Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. With Ailey's amalgam of light and fun yet dark and romantic choreography balanced with Ellington's score, the work is an abstract celebration of birth, life and rebirth.

Pas de Duke (1976) Choreography: Alvin Ailey Music: Duke Ellington

Pas de Duke was Alvin Ailey's modern dance translation of a classical pas de deux honoring two of the most renowned dancers in the world, Judith Jamison and Mikhail Baryshnikov and celebrating the musical genius of the late Duke Ellington (1899-1974). Last staged for Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater during the 2006-2007 season, it was originally presented as part of the festival "Ailey Celebrates Ellington" at Lincoln Center's New York State Theater in 1976, commemorating the nation's bicentennial with America's two great art forms - modern dance and jazz music. Ailey choreographed five sections that capture the sassy sophistication of "The Duke's" jazz music: the introduction to "Such Sweet Thunder" (1957); the pas de deux to "Sonnet for Ceasar" (1975); the male solo to "Sonnet for Hank Cinq" (1957); the female solo to "Unclothed Woman" (1948); and the finale to "Old Man's Blues" (1930), which captured the exuberance of the star dancers' qualities and techniques as the male and female soloists mirror each other toe-to-toe and line-for-line in this playful, good-natured competition.

FULL PERFORMANCE SCHEDULE TO BE ANNOUNCED PRIOR TO SEPTEMBER 3rd.

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, beloved as one of the world's most popular dance companies, returns to the New York City Center stage from December 4, 2013 - January 5, 2014, led by Artistic Director Robert Battle, with premieres, new productions and exciting performances by Ailey's acclaimed dancers that have become a joyous holiday tradition. Tickets starting at $25 go on sale September 3rd and can be purchased at the New York City Center Box Office, through CityTix at (212) 581-1212 or online 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 $25 tickets). The Saturday Family Matinee series includes a post-performance Q & A with the Ailey dancers and an increased availability of $25 tickets, but buy early for the best seat selection (Not available online and subject to available and 6 ticket maximum). For group sales, call 212-405-9082 or e-mail groupsales@alvinailey.org. For further information about the Alvin Ailey New York City center season please visit www.alvinailey.org.

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater's season will run December 4, 2013 - January 5, 2014, New York City Center - 131 West 55th Street, between 6th and 7th Avenues, New York, NY. Call (212) 581-1212 or visit www.nycitycenter.org for more information. Performance Times: Opening Night Gala (December 4th) 7:00pm (note earlier curtain time); Tuesday - Thursday evenings 7:30pm (note new curtain time), Friday & Saturday evenings 8:00pm, Sunday evenings 7:30pm, Saturday matinees 2:00pm, and Sunday matinees 3:00pm.

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, 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 23 million people in 71 countries on 6 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 Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami?Dade County in Miami, 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 United States and the world during extensive yearly 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.

Pictured: Alvin Ailey's Antonio Douthit-Boyd. Photo Credit: Andrew Eccles.

Related