Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater Announces Highlights of 2022 Downtown New York Season
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, New York City Center’s premier dance company and America’s cultural ambassador to the world, announces highlights from its long-awaited annual season at New York City Center. Returning to its “home” theater for four weeks from November 30 to December 24, 2022, The Ailey Company will present a world premiere of Kyle Abraham, the first company of Roy’s Joys by Twyla Tharp and a new production of Survivors by Alvin Ailey.
Programs will also include the company’s downtown premieres of DUET by Paul Taylor and In a Sentimental Mood by Jamar Roberts. Beginning with a special one-night-only opening gala program on November 30, the season features more than half a dozen classic works by founder Alvin Ailey, including the ever-inspiring masterpiece Revelations.
Artistic Director Robert Battle said: “The repertoire I have chosen for this season brings audiences back in touch with some of the richest and most profound work Alvin Ailey has ever choreographed, shows the genius of our dancers in pieces by great contemporaries of Mr. Ailey, Twyla Tharp and Paul Taylor, and introduces everyone to stunning new works by Kyle Abraham and Jamar Roberts who find reservoirs of love and resilience in our complicated lives and times. a season overflowing with the joy of connections – eclectic, surprising, moving connections between eras, between dancers and between people.”
In his third commission for the Ailey company, renowned choreographer Kyle Abraham creates a work that celebrates black culture, black music and the youthful spirit that lives in us all. Written on a “mixtape” of soul, hip-hop and R&B, the work explores the links between music, communication and personal memory. Continuing the expansion of its renowned repertoire, the company will premiere Twyla Tharp’s silky and sensual Roy’s Joys (1997), embodying the spontaneity of a 1940s and 50s jazz soundtrack by Roy Eldridge. Blending vernacular dance with ballet and modern technique, Roy’s Joys exudes an easy, carefree energy that shows Tharp at his best.
A new production of Alvin Ailey’s Survivors (1986) revives this passionate tribute to the deep courage and terrible anguish of Nelson and Winnie Mandela, and presents a broader portrait of people transformed by injustice. Max Roach’s richly varied drumming and Abbey Lincoln’s vocals set the emotional tone of this powerful work that uplifts those who resist oppression in all its forms. Following critically acclaimed premieres earlier this year, the company will present Paul Taylor’s 1964 DUET, set to music by Franz Josef Haydn and depicting a love, perhaps not new, but rather tried and true; and Jamar Roberts’ In a Sentimental Mood, an intimate scene of a couple’s domestic life that becomes an exploration of love and desire. The work is composed of an original composition by Duke Ellington and four avant-garde jazz standards revisited by composer Rafiq Bhatia. In addition to Alvin Ailey’s classics Cry, Memoria and Revelations, the performances will also feature a number of works by the founder set to music by the great Duke Ellington, including Night Creature, Reflections in D, Pas de Duke and The River.
During the 2022-23 season, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater will welcome four new dancers, three of whom trained within the Ailey organization. Alisha Rena Peek (Upper Marlboro, MD) and Deidre Rogan (Fort Myers, FL) are both graduates of the Ailey/Fordham BFA program and former members of Ailey II, while Hannah Alissa Richardson (Toronto, Ontario Canada) is a former member of Ailey II and graduate of the Ailey School Certificate Program. Xavier Mack (Washington, DC) performed for five years with the Dallas Black Dance Theater.
The season highlights announcement comes as Ailey prepares to launch Ailey Moves NYC! a summertime celebration with free outdoor events across New York’s five boroughs, Saturday, July 23 through August 1, 2022. Embracing people all over the city that is Ailey’s home, Ailey Moves NYC! offers performances, dance lessons, Revelations workshops and screenings of Jamila Wignot’s acclaimed 2021 documentary, Ailey, with events featuring Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, Ailey II, Ailey Extension – which offers dance lessons and fitness for all experience levels – and Ailey Arts In Education.
For more details and information, visit alvinailey.org/ailey-moves-nyc. Full details of the New York City Center program will be announced before tickets go on sale Oct. 11. For more information on the season schedule and to purchase tickets, starting at $29, please visit www.alvinailey.org/nycc.
The 2022 winter season is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York State Council of the Arts with support from the Office of the Governor and New York State Legislature, and the Department of New York City Cultural Affairs in partnership with The City Council. Ailey is moving to New York! is supported, in part, by Con Edison’s Arts Al Fresco Series and the Rockefeller Foundation. For more general information, visit www.alvinailey.org.