Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater

December 13th Premiere Opens Week-Long Performance Series Tribute
Live Onstage Appearances by Anna Deavere Smith in Jamison’s Emmy-winning Hymn

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s five-week New York City Center season, from December 2, 2009 – January 3, 2010, will celebrate Judith Jamison, the Company’s groundbreaking Artistic Director who was hand-chosen by the late Mr. Ailey before his untimely death in 1989.  As previously announced, Jamison will be honored at an Opening Night Benefit, with Honorary Chairs and Honored Guests Pauletta and Denzel Washington, supporting Ailey’s scholarship fund and educational programs for children.

Today, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater announces the “Best of 20 Years” programming, featuring highlights from popular ballets Jamison has brought to or revived in the Ailey repertory.  Over the last two decades, Jamison has commissioned or revived nearly 100 works, providing unparalleled opportunities for choreographers both renowned and newly discovered.  Excerpts of works by over 12 choreographers will be a part of the special program, as follows:

“BEST OF 20 YEARS” highlights program - DEC 13 eve, 15, 17, 19 mat, 20 eve, 31 - Excerpts of:

The Stack-Up (1982)
Choreographer: Talley Beatty
Music:  Earth, Wind and Fire (“Faces”)

Grace (1999)
Choreographer:  Ronald K. Brown
Music: Duke Ellington sung by Jimmy McPhail (“Come Sunday”)

North Star (1978) (1990 - Ailey repertory)
Choreographer:  Lar Lubovitch
Music: Philip Glass

Following the Subtle Current Upstream (2000)
Choreographer:  Alonzo King
Music: Miguel Frasconi  

Shelter (1988) (1992 - Ailey repertory)
Choreographer:   Jawole Willa Jo Zollar
Music: Junior "Gabu" Wedderburn
Text: “Belongo” by Laurie Carlos read by Carl Hancockrux

Frames – (1992)
Choreographer:  Dwight Rhoden
Music: Music/Vocalist: Kemp Harris, Words: Dwight Rhoden (“Moonlight”)

Bad Blood (1984) (1986 - Ailey repertory)
Choreographer:  Ulysses Dove
Music: Laurie Anderson (“Gravity’s Angel”)

Rainbow Round My Shoulder (1959) (1972 - Ailey repertory)
Choreographer:   Donald McKayle
Music: Traditional, Arranged by Robert de Cormier & Milton Okun

Dance at the Gym (1991)
Choreographer:  Donald Byrd
Music: Mio Morales

Jukebox for Alvin – (1993)
Choreographer:  Garth Fagan
Music: Antonin Dvorak

Lettres d’Amour (1998)
Choreographer:  Redha
Music: Banco de Gaia, Ryuichi Sakamoto

Polish Pieces (1995) (1996 - Joined AAADT’s repertory)
Choreographer:  Hans van Manen
Music: Henryk-Mikolaj Górecki

The Winter in Lisbon (1992)
Choreographer:  Billy Wilson
Music:  Dizzy Gillespie (“Manteca”)
The program will premiere on Sunday, December 13th at 7:30pm, when Judith Jamison, whose vision has led the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater to new heights and into a permanent home, will be honored at a special performance featuring Best of 20 Years, Treading, and Revelations.  The following week of the season, December 15th – 20th, will feature a variety of programs celebrating Jamison with the “Best of 20 Years” highlights in conjunction with a variety of other ballets, including live onstage appearances by Anna Deavere Smith in Judith Jamison’s Emmy Award-winning Hymn and Judith Jamison’s new ballet Among Us (Private Spaces: Public Places) with original jazz compositions by musical iconoclast Eric Lewis.

Other premieres during Ailey’s New York City Center engagement will include:
•    Ronald K. Brown’s world premiere tribute to Jamison called Dancing Spirit
•    Company member Matthew Rushing’s homage to the Harlem Renaissance in Uptown
•    Company premiere of Robert Battle’s gripping solo In/Side

Throughout the December season, which has become a joyous holiday tradition, Ailey’s extraordinary artists will move audiences with over 40 ballets by 20 choreographers, including favorites such as Alvin Ailey’s signature masterpiece Revelations, a must-see for all people.  

For a detailed schedule and information on tickets, which start at $25, visit