Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater Graces South Florida


Sanford and Dolores Ziff Ballet Opera House Welcomes
Trailblazing Company for Inspiring and Historic Performances

APRIL 16 – 19, 2009
TICKETS: $20 - $120

Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County, along with Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater presents Alvin Ailey® American Dance Theater’s 50th Anniversary celebration during their historic visit to the Sanford and Dolores Ziff Ballet Opera House from April 16 – 19, 2009.  The world-renowned dance company has embarked on a 50-city global tour to share with audiences the beauty, power, and passion that are Ailey hallmarks.

Having performed in 71 countries across six continents, Alvin Ailey® American Dance Theater is the most-traveled dance company in the world and was recently recognized by U.S. Congressional resolution as a vital American “Cultural Ambassador to the World.”  A universal beacon of inspiration over the last five decades, the Company uplifts and enlightens audiences in a universal celebration of the human spirit using the African-American cultural experience and the American modern dance tradition. 

“Each time the curtain goes up, Alvin Ailey’s genius and humanity touches  hearts and minds through dance that expresses life’s joys, sorrows and ultimate truths,” expressed Artistic Director Judith Jamison.  “During our golden anniversary, I am so proud to share with South Florida audiences his pioneering vision that continues to shine brightly in the brilliant artistry of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.”

The Ailey Company’s 31 extraordinary dancers, including Miami natives Amos J. Machanic, Jr., Jamar Roberts and Yusha-Marie Sorzano, will perform premieres, new productions and revered classics including: Alvin Ailey’s Blues Suite, first seen at the Company’s premiere performance in 1958; Anniversary Highlights, a new program with excerpts of 12 ballets; Festa Barocca, a world premiere featuring the entire company; and Suite Otis, Tony-winner George Faison’s tribute to Otis Redding.  All performances will conclude with the legendary Revelations and open with Alvin Ailey ® American Dance Theater at 50 – a Golden Anniversary Celebration, a short film commemorating the Company’s rich history. 

“To host one of the world’s leading accomplished dance troupes during this spirited performance is beyond exciting for us,” said M. John Richard, President and CEO of the Adrienne Arsht Center.  “We applaud Alvin Ailey® American Dance Theater’s immense success, and remain inspired by the legacy of this iconic cultural treasure.”

Beginning with Blues Suite, the dance that launched the Company in 1958 to Opus McShann, his final piece thirty years later, and closing with the classic Revelations in its entirety, this retrospective demonstrates the tremendous range and resonance of one man’s genius.  Additional excerpts included are from Streams (1970), Choral Dances (1971), Mary Lou’s Mass (1971), The Lark Ascending (1972), Hidden Rites (1973), Night Creature (1975), Cry (1971), Phases (1980), Landscape (1981), For “Bird” – With Love (1984), and Caverna Magica (1986).

Choreography: Alvin Ailey
Music: Traditional
Running time: 38 minutes
Alvin Ailey said that one of America’s richest treasures was the cultural heritage of the African-American—“sometimes sorrowful, sometimes jubilant, but always hopeful”.  This enduring classic is a tribute to that heritage and to Ailey’s genius.  Using African-American religious music--spirituals, song-sermons, gospel songs and holy blues--this suite fervently explores the places of deepest grief and holiest joy in the soul.

(World Premiere)
Choreography: Mauro Bigonzetti                        
Music: George Frideric Handel
Running time: 44 minutes
Acclaimed Italian choreographer Mauro Bigonzetti brings his highly dramatic style, complex partnering and seamless integration of classical and modern styles to the Ailey repertory in his first time choreographing for an American modern dance company.  Bigonzetti explains, “I discovered choreography when I met Alvin” as a young dancer with Aterballeto performing classic Ailey works.  Bigonzetti was so inspired by the Ailey dancers’ emotional intensity and technical prowess, he cast the entire company in this world premiere - a rare and special occurrence. 

Choreography: Hans van Manen
Music: Johann Sebastian Bach
Running time: 8 minutes
Hans van Manen divides his kinetic Solo among three dancers in a tour de force work that challenges the Ailey men’s daring agility and grace. This explosive display of virtuosity and wit launches the men into an exhilarating whirlwind of movement and musicality.

Choreography: Alvin Ailey
Music: Traditional
Running time: 32 minutes
Blues Suite marked the launch of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater at its premiere in 1958, and defined Mr. Ailey’s choreographic genius in presenting real people on the concert dance stage.  With the rumble of a train and the toll of distant bells, a cast of vividly-drawn characters from the barrelhouses and fields of Alvin Ailey’s southern childhood are summoned to dance and revel through one long, sultry night, poignantly evoking the sorrow, humor and humanity of the blues.  Dance Magazine wrote, “Blues Suite galvanized the crowd and announced the arrival of a major choreographer. The rest, as they say, is history.”

Choreography: George Faison   
Music:    Otis Redding   
Running time: 20 minutes
The timeless music of pioneering soul singer Otis Redding sets the stage for former AAADT company member and Tony Award-winning choreographer George Faison’s playful battle of the sexes.  The yearning sensuality of soul stirring songs such as “Satisfaction,” “Try a Little Tenderness,” “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long” and other favorites burst through this wildly popular six-part suite of dances ripe with romance and humor.   


April 16, 2009 - 8:00pm evening         ANNIVERSARY HIGHLIGHTS / REVELATIONS
April 17, 2009 - 8:00pm evening        FESTA BAROCCA / SOLO, REVELATIONS
April 18, 2009 - 2:00pm matinee         BLUES SUITE / SUITE OTIS / REVELATIONS
April 18, 2009 - 8:00pm evening        FESTA BAROCCA / SOLO, REVELATIONS
April 19, 2009 - 2:00pm matinee        ANNIVERSARY HIGHLIGHTS / REVELATIONS

Tickets for Alvin Ailey® American Dance Theater are on sale now.  Single ticket prices range from $20 to $120 and can be purchased through the Adrienne Arsht Center box office at 305.949.6722 or online at  For information on group discounts, contact 786.468.2326. Previous Fillmore ticket holders received refunds from Live Nation.


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From This Author Beau Higgins

Currently spending his time between New York and Florida, Beau was born to a theatrical family in Brooklyn. He studied drama at the Lee Strasberg (read more...)

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