Photo Flash: Robert Battle, Chadwick Boseman & More Kick Off Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater's Holiday Season with Gala Benefit Performance & Opening Night Party

Last night, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater's holiday season at New York City Center kicked off with an Opening Night Gala Benefit. The one-night-only benefit performance and party honored BNY Mellon for its major support of the Ailey Organization since 2007, and Agnes & Gerald Hassell accepted on the institution's behalf. Film star Chadwick Boseman and actress and Grammy-Award winning artist Brandy served as Honorary Chairs, and the event's co-chairs were Simin Allison, Kathryn & Kenneth Chenault, Debra L. Lee, Doris & Gilbert Meister, Daria L. & Eric J. Wallach and Joan & Sandy Weill. $2.5 million was raised in support of the creation of new works, scholarships to The Ailey School, and Ailey's extensive educational programs for young people.

The one-night-only program included a performance of David Parsons' signature gravity-defying male solo Caught, and the world premiere of Ronald K. Brown's Cuban-inspired Open Door set to music from Arturo O'Farrill & the Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra's most recent album, Cuba: The Conversation Continues. Alvin Ailey's beloved Revelations rocked the crowd in a rousing finale to live music with singers that included the incomparable Ella Mitchell.

The celebration continued at the Hilton New York's Grand Ballroom where approximately 900 guests from the worlds of business, politics, entertainment and philanthropy, including Savion Glover, Andre Holland, Glorya Kaufman, Ricki Lander, New York's First Lady Chirlaine McCray, Janet Mock, Joe Morton, Arturo O'Farrill, Phylicia Rashad, and Kelly Rowland,Darren Walker, Elaine Wynn, and Malik Yoba, joined in dinner and dancing with Robert Battle, Judith Jamison and the stars of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.

Throughout December, Ailey's extraordinary dancers will unveil a variety of premieres, new productions, and special programs. After the New York City Center engagement concludes on January 3rd, Ailey will perform in 20 cities across North America beginning in February. For more information, visit www.alvinailey.org.

Photo Credit: Dario Calmese Jr. & Christopher Duggan

high res photos

Photo Flash: Robert Battle, Chadwick Boseman & More Kick Off Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater's Holiday Season with Gala Benefit Performance & Opening Night Party
AAADT's S. Carmon, E. Clark, C. Heyward, J. Harris, K. Segawa, D. Paulos and C. Monteiro

Photo Flash: Robert Battle, Chadwick Boseman & More Kick Off Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater's Holiday Season with Gala Benefit Performance & Opening Night Party
Carolyn Adams, Artistic Director Robert Battle and Guest

Photo Flash: Robert Battle, Chadwick Boseman & More Kick Off Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater's Holiday Season with Gala Benefit Performance & Opening Night Party
Honorary Chair Chadwick Boseman and Phylicia Rashad

Photo Flash: Robert Battle, Chadwick Boseman & More Kick Off Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater's Holiday Season with Gala Benefit Performance & Opening Night Party
AAADT's Collin Heyward and Fana Tesfagiorgis

Photo Flash: Robert Battle, Chadwick Boseman & More Kick Off Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater's Holiday Season with Gala Benefit Performance & Opening Night Party
Dante Blakeley, Peter Jueptner, Guest, Courtney Sauls and Greg Stuart

Photo Flash: Robert Battle, Chadwick Boseman & More Kick Off Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater's Holiday Season with Gala Benefit Performance & Opening Night Party
Doris Appelson and Artistic Director Robert Battle

Photo Flash: Robert Battle, Chadwick Boseman & More Kick Off Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater's Holiday Season with Gala Benefit Performance & Opening Night Party
AAADT's Fana Tesfagiorgis

Photo Flash: Robert Battle, Chadwick Boseman & More Kick Off Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater's Holiday Season with Gala Benefit Performance & Opening Night Party
Gala Co-Chairs Eric J. and Daria Wallach with Artistic Director Robert Battle

Photo Flash: Robert Battle, Chadwick Boseman & More Kick Off Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater's Holiday Season with Gala Benefit Performance & Opening Night Party
First Lady of NYC Chirlaine McCray and Artistic Director Robert Battle

Photo Flash: Robert Battle, Chadwick Boseman & More Kick Off Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater's Holiday Season with Gala Benefit Performance & Opening Night Party
Glorya Kaufman, Maayan Sharabi and Artistic Director Robert Battle

Photo Flash: Robert Battle, Chadwick Boseman & More Kick Off Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater's Holiday Season with Gala Benefit Performance & Opening Night Party
Honorary Chair Brandy Norwood

Photo Flash: Robert Battle, Chadwick Boseman & More Kick Off Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater's Holiday Season with Gala Benefit Performance & Opening Night Party
Honorary Chair Chadwick Boseman and Artistic Director Robert Battle



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