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Alvin Ailey American Dance Returns For Six Performances Only March 8-12 At Auditorium Theatre

Three distinct programs showcase Chicago premieres from Kyle Abraham and Jamar Roberts, company premieres of works by Ailey peers Paul Taylor and Twyla Tharp and more.

Alvin Ailey American Dance Returns For Six Performances Only March 8-12 At Auditorium Theatre

The Auditorium Theatre (50 E. Ida B. Wells Drive) will welcome the return of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, America's beloved cultural ambassador to the world, for six performances only, March 8-12, 2023, during their 22-city North American tour.

Under the acclaimed artistic direction of Robert Battle, Ailey's renowned artists will move audiences with three distinct mixed repertory programs highlighting new works from celebrated choreographers along with repertory favorites. Throughout the engagement audiences will witness the Chicago premieres of Kyle Abraham's Are You in Your Feelings?, a celebration of Black culture scored to a 'mixtape' of soul, hip-hop, and R&B, and Jamar Roberts' In A Sentimental Mood, an intimate duet using an original composition by Duke Ellington. Audiences will also be treated to the recent Company premieres from Alvin Ailey peer choreographers Paul Taylor, with the simplicity and beauty of DUET; and Twyla Tharp, seen in her rollicking best in Roy's Joys;, as well as a new production of Ailey's 1986 impassioned tribute to Nelson and Winnie Mandela, Survivors. As is tradition, Alvin Ailey's American masterpiece Revelations, which has inspired generations through its powerful storytelling and soul-stirring spirituals since its creation in 1960, will serve as the finale for all performances.

"For over five decades, the Auditorium Theatre has proudly presented the iconic Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater as one of its Visiting Resident Companies," said Auditorium Theatre CEO Rich Regan. "This annual Spring visit has become a highly anticipated tradition and treasure on Chicago's arts calendar. Count us among Ailey's many fans looking forward to welcoming back the company."

"I am excited to see the brilliance of Ailey's dancers back on the Auditorium Theatre stage in this season's repertory filled with some of Alvin Ailey's most memorable works while premiering choreography by Kyle Abraham and Jamar Roberts that explore Black culture and love through soulful and inventive musical journeys," said Artistic Director Robert Battle. "For decades, we've been proud to bring to Chicagoans our vision of resilience, artistry and spirit, using dance to inspire, entertain and share the joy of connections."


Program A

Ailey Anew, debuting dynamic new works (*=Chicago Premiere):

Are You in Your Feelings?* / Unfold / Revelations

Opening Night: Wednesday, March 8 at 6PM

In a Sentimental Mood* / Duet / Are You in Your Feelings?* / Revelations

Friday, March 10 at 7:30PM

Program B

Ailey Allies, featuring a new production of Twyla Tharp's Roy's Joys

Roy's Joys / Survivors / Revelations

Thursday, March 9 at 7:30PM

Saturday, March 11 at 8PM

Program C

Ailey Always, showcasing all Alvin Ailey works:

Night Creature / Cry / The River / Revelations

Saturday, March 11 at 2PM

Sunday, March 12 at 3PM

All Programming - Subject to Change


Are You in Your Feelings? (2022 World Premiere, 2023 Chicago Premiere)

Choreography by Kyle Abraham

In his third commission for the Ailey company, Kyle Abraham's newest work is a celebration of Black culture, Black music, and the youthful spirit that perseveres in us all. Scored to a "mixtape" of soul, hip-hop, and R&B, it explores the connections among music, communication, and personal memory.

Unfold (2007)

Choreography by Robert Battle, Music: Gustave Charpentier

Artistic Director Robert Battle's sensuous, swirling duet evokes the tenderness and ecstasy in Gustave Charpentier's aria. With its fluid grace, this gem exemplifies the choreographer's skill for nuanced gesture and vivid imagery.

In a Sentimental Mood (2022 World Premiere, 2023 Chicago Premiere)

Choreography by Jamar Roberts, Music: Duke Ellington and Rafiq Bhatia

An intimate scene from the domestic life of a couple becomes an exploration of love and desire in this new work by Jamar Roberts. Using an original composition by Duke Ellington and four jazz standards given an avant-garde twist by composer Rafiq Bhatia, Roberts bridges the past and present, making these musical classics freshly relevant and timely.

DUET (1964 / 2022 Company Premiere)

Choreography by Paul Taylor, Music: Franz Josef Haydn

Paul Taylor's 1964 DUET, set to the music of Franz Josef Haydn, is a testament to the simplicity and clarity of Taylor's craft. Brief and beautifully shaped, it portrays a love, perhaps not new, but rather tried and true.

Roy's Joys (1997 / 2022 Company Premiere)

Choreography by Twyla Tharp

This silky, sultry work embodies the spontaneity of a 1940s and 50s jazz soundtrack by Roy Eldridge. Mixing vernacular dance with ballet and modern technique, it exudes an easy, carefree energy that shows Twyla Tharp at her rollicking best.

Survivors (1986 / New Production 2022)

Choreography by Alvin Ailey and Mary Barnett, Music: Max Roach ("Survivors" and "Triptych"), strings orchestrated by Peter Phillips

Alvin Ailey's impassioned tribute to the profound courage and terrible anguish of Nelson and Winnie Mandela is, more broadly, a portrait of people transformed by injustice. Max Roach's richly varied drumming and Abbey Lincoln's vocals set the emotional tone for this powerful work that lifts up those who resist oppression in any form.

Night Creature (1974 / Ailey Company Premiere 1975)

Choreography by Alvin Ailey, Music: Duke Ellington

In Night Creature, Alvin Ailey's classically influenced choreography is juxtaposed with Duke Ellington's jazz idiom. One of Ailey's most popular works, it captivates with Ailey's sensual nighttime rituals, propelling the movement into a fast-paced climactic catharsis using slow jazz walks, boogie woogie, and ballet arabesques to create prowling patterns and communal configurations.

Cry (1971)

Choreography by Alvin Ailey, Music: Alice Coltrane, Laura Nyro & Chuck Griffin

Ailey choreographed his signature solo Cry as a birthday present for his dignified mother, and created the dance on his stunning muse, Judith Jamison. He dedicated this piece to "all Black women everywhere--especially our mothers." In this three-section solo, the dancer, clad in a white leotard and long ruffled skirt, brings the audience on a journey of bitter sorrow, brutal hardship and ecstatic joy.

The River (1970 / New Production 2021)

Choreography by Alvin Ailey, Original Score: Duke Ellington

Alvin Ailey's acclaimed collaboration with Duke Ellington was 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 is set to 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. With Ailey's mixture of light and playful yet also dark and romantic choreography balanced with Ellington's score, the work is an abstract celebration of birth, life, and rebirth.

In addition to this variety of exciting works, the inspiring finale of all programs will be Alvin Ailey's American masterpiece, Revelations, acclaimed around the world for sending hearts soaring and lifting audiences to their feet. Since its debut in 1960, Revelations has been seen by more people than any other modern dance work and has moved audiences around the world through its powerful storytelling and soul-stirring music, evoking timeless themes of determination, hope, and transcendence. Springing from Ailey's childhood memories of growing up in the south and attending services at Mount Olive Baptist Church in Texas, Revelations pays homage to the rich cultural heritage of the African American and explores the emotional spectrum of the human condition

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater performs at the Auditorium Theatre: Wednesday, March 8 at 6PM; Thursday and Friday, March 9-10 at 7:30PM; Saturday, March 11 at 2PM and 8PM; and Sunday, March 12 at 3PM. Tickets start at $40 and are now available at, by calling 312.341.2300, or at the Box Office at 50 E Ida B Wells Drive in Chicago, IL. Click here for phone and in-person hours.

Discounted tickets for groups of 10 or more people are available. The Auditorium Theatre offers $20 student rush tickets to full-time college students and $5 tickets to young people ages 13-19 with Urban Gateways' Teen Arts Pass program. The Auditorium also offers a Student Savings Club for both college and high school students. The Auditorium Theatre's ADMIT ONE program offers complimentary tickets to Chicago-area community groups.

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