Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater to Perform Works by Kyle Abraham and Twyla Tharp at New York City Center
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, New York City Center’s premier dance company and America’s cultural ambassador to the world, has announced 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. The programs also feature the company’s downtown premieres of DUET by Paul Taylor, In a Sentimental Mood by Jamar Roberts, and Ailey & Jazz programs performed with live music. 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 and unmissable masterpiece Revelations.
Artistic Director Robert Battle says: “The repertoire I have chosen for this season connects audiences with some of the richest and most profound work Alvin Ailey has ever choreographed, shows the genius of our dancers in pieces by Mr. Ailey’s great contemporaries – 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. This is going to be a season overflowing with the joy of connections – eclectic, surprising, moving connections between eras, between dancers and between people.”
On Friday, December 2 at 8 p.m., acclaimed choreographer Kyle Abraham presents his third commission for the Ailey Company, Are You In Your Feelings?, celebrating black culture, black music, and the youthful spirit that lives on in all of us. Written on a “mixtape” of soul, hip-hop and R&B, the work explores the links between music, communication and personal memory.
Continuing to expand its diverse repertoire, the company premieres Twyla Tharp’s silky and sensual Roy’s Joys (1997), embodying the spontaneity of a 1940s and 1950s jazz soundtrack by Roy Eldridge on Friday, December 9 at 8 p.m. h. Blending vernacular dance with ballet and modern technique, Roy’s Joys exudes an easy, carefree energy that shows Tharp at his best.
Taking to the stage on Tuesday, December 7 at 7:30 p.m. a new production of Survivors (1986), Alvin Ailey’s impassioned tribute to the profound courage and terrible anguish of Nelson and Winnie Mandela, unreleased since 1988. A soundtrack by The Drums Max Roach’s rich variety and Abbey Lincoln’s powerful voice set the emotional tone for a work that portrays people transformed by injustice and uplifts those who resist oppression in all its forms.
Following acclaimed premieres earlier this year, the Company presents Paul Taylor’s 1964 DUET, set to music by Franz Josef Haydn and depicting a love, perhaps not new, but rather tried; 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 revisited jazz standards by composer Rafiq Bhatia. Along with Alvin Ailey’s classics Cry, Memoria and Revelations, the season features a number of works by the founder set to the music of the great Duke Ellington, including Night Creature, Reflections in D, Pas de Duke and The River.
Special programs this season include Ailey & Ellington, featuring four ballets created by Alvin Ailey that celebrate the musical genius of Duke Ellington (December 3, matt 4); All Ailey Performances Composed Entirely of Works by Alvin Ailey (December 7, Eve 10); Ailey Classics highlighting timeless favorites (mat 10 Dec, eve 13); and All new programs for season premieres and new productions (December 17, 21, 23 the day before). Ailey & Jazz live music shows featuring rising stars from the future of jazz will take place on December 16, 17 mat and 18 mat. The December 13 Ailey Classics program will pay tribute to beloved Chairman Emeritus Stanley Plesent, who played a pivotal role in establishing the Board of Trustees 50 years ago and led it for 16 years. A close confidant of Mr Ailey and a constant presence at Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater events and shows, Stanley was a passionate supporter who remained actively involved on the board until his death earlier this year .
The engagement also includes Family Matinee performances each Saturday at 2pm (December 3, 10, 17* except Christmas Eve), followed by a Q&A session with Ailey’s revered dancers. Whether as a first-time child, as a parent reminiscing about their childhood experience with dancing, or as the family who made Ailey a holiday tradition, everyone can enjoy the magic. from Ailey. Ailey fans are in for a treat on Saturday, December 10 when Associate Artistic Director Matthew Rushing, who is celebrating his 30th anniversary with Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, is featured in a Q&A session. Inspiring Ailey audiences since 1992, Matthew has been acclaimed as “The Peyton Manning of Dance” and revered as one of the great male dancers of the American stage. For three decades he dedicated his life to the Ailey organization touching the hearts and minds of audiences around the world with his unparalleled artistry and electrifying spirit. A performance program is attached (subject to change). This season, the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater proudly welcomes four new dancers, three of whom trained with 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.
Tickets starting at $29 go on sale Tuesday, October 11 at the New York City Center box office, through CityTix at (212) 581-1212, or at www.alvinailey.org or www.nycitycenter.org. Discounted tickets are available for Ailey Super Fans purchasing tickets for more than one show, for students with proper ID, and for groups of 10 or more (discounts do not apply). not apply to $29 tickets). For group sales, call 212-405-9082 or email [email protected] Ailey Young New York invites ages 21-35 to purchase 50% off tickets $75 and up for all shows from December 1 through December 24 with promo code MODERN (up to 4 tickets). For more information on Ailey’s New York City Center season, please visit www.alvinailey.org.
Your health and safety are our top priority. Masks must be worn by all members of the public at all times. Learn more about COVID-19 performance protocols here.
Prior to the New York City Center engagement, fans can join in learning Ailey’s classic style and choreography from cherished former members of society during Ailey’s Saturday Workshop Series. Extension. Associate Artistic Director Matthew Rushing celebrates his 30th anniversary with the company by leading a Modern Contemporary Masterclass on Nov. 19 at 3 p.m. ET, teaching participants how to explore their personal dance style and discover unfamiliar ways to move. Students from all corners of the world can learn the classic moves from Alvin Ailey’s masterpiece when Ailey Extension Director Lisa Johnson-Willingham leads a free online Revelations Around the World workshop on 3 December at 3 p.m. ET. Dancers can dive into Alvin Ailey’s classically influenced choreography during a Night Creature workshop on December 10 at 3 p.m. ET led by Ailey Extension Instructor Sarita Allen, a world-renowned dancer who was part of the original cast of Night Creature and chosen by Mr. Ailey himself to play the lead role. Ailey Extension’s special workshops and weekly “real classes for real people” are open to students of all skill levels – no previous dance experience necessary to have fun! For more details or to register, please visit alvinailey.org/extension.
ABOUT ALVIN AILEY AMERICAN DANCE THEATER
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, recognized by a US Congressional resolution as an “essential American cultural ambassador to the world”, was born from a now-legendary March 1958 performance in New York that forever changed the perception of American dance. . Founded by Alvin Ailey, posthumous recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, and guided by Judith Jamison from 1989, the company is now headed by Robert Battle, whom Judith Jamison has chosen to succeed him. on July 1, 2011. Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater has performed for approximately 25 million people in 71 countries on six continents, promoting the uniqueness of the African-American cultural experience and the preservation and enrichment of the tradition of American modern dance. In addition to being the main dance company at the 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, D.C. , at the Auditorium Theater in Chicago, The Fox Theater in Atlanta, Zellerbach Hall in Berkeley, CA, and the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark (where he is Principal Resident Affiliate), and appears frequently at other major theaters around the world on long tours. The Ailey organization also includes Ailey II (1974), a second performing company of young, emerging dancers and innovative choreographers; The Ailey School (1969), one of the most comprehensive dance training programs in the world; Ailey Arts In Education & Community Programs, which brings dance into classrooms, communities and the 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 residence – the largest building dedicated to dance in New York, the dance capital of the world name The Joan Weill Center for Dance, at 55th Street at 9th Avenue in New York City. For more information, visit www.alvinailey.org.
Photo by Paul Kolnik