ALVIN AILEY AMERICAN DANCE THEATER CELEBRATES GROUNDBREAKING FOUNDER DURING 60TH ANNIVERSARY NORTH AMERICAN TOUR FEBRUARY 1 – MAY 12, 2019

01.10.19
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
Ailey PressRoom

Ailey's Incomparable Dancers Will Inspire Audiences in 21 Cities From Coast to Coast in Breathtaking Premieres, Returning Favorites, and Ailey Classics, Like the Must-See Masterpiece Revelations 

World Premieres Include The Call by Ronald K. Brown, EN by Jessica Lang, and Lazarus by Rennie Harris - the Company's First Two-Act Ballet 

Tour Features the Company Premiere of Wayne McGregor's Kairos, a New Production of Robert Battle's Juba, and a Timeless Ailey Program with Rarely Seen Gems by one of America's Greatest Cultural Leaders 

After an acclaimed five-week holiday season in New York, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater will continue its Ailey Ascending 60th Anniversary celebration during a North American tour which kicks off during Black History Month with a February 1st opening in Toronto. On February 5th, a weeklong engagement at The Kennedy Center launches with the 20th Annual Washington, D.C. Gala Benefit to support Ailey's D.C. programs, including the creation of new works, arts-in-education activities, and scholarships to talented young area dancers to attend The Ailey School in New York. Other stops on the 21-city tour include Miami, Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Boston, culminating with a Mother's Day performance in Newark on May 12th

Led by Artistic Director Robert Battle, Ailey's remarkable dancers will perform a diverse repertory - which varies from city to city - featuring premieres, new productions and returning classics. 

"Alvin Ailey forever changed the American landscape by raising up the lives and cultural heritage of African-Americas for all to see, opening the hearts and minds of people of every background and elevating the world of the performing arts," said Robert Battle.  "During this milestone season, we honor Alvin Ailey's storied legacy with performances across North America, educational programs that enlighten young people and develop the next generation of performing artists.  What Mr. Ailey gave us is more than a repertory and a tradition. It is a movement, a direction, a desire, a conviction that if the spirit is to live it must rise. We dedicate our 60th Anniversary to the next ascent."

National audiences will have the opportunity to experience Ailey's first ever two-act ballet with Rennie Harris' world premiere, Lazarus. Inspired by the life and legacy of Mr. Ailey and addressing the racial inequities our nation has faced, both in 1958 when the company was founded and today, Lazarus is an ensemble work featuring a soundtrack that melds Nina Simone, Terrence Trent D'Arby, Michael Kiwanuka, Odetta, original music by Darrin Ross, and the voice of Alvin Ailey. Harris is also currently serving as Ailey's first Artist-in-Residence, leading a wide range of activities across the organization, including The Ailey School, Ailey II, Arts-in-Education, Ailey Extension, and the New Directions Choreography Lab. 

The tour also welcomes The Call, Ronald K. Brown's world premiere, and his seventh work for Ailey. Brown, a 2018 Dance Magazine Award recipient, describes the work, which seamlessly blends modern and West African dance idioms, as "a love letter to Mr. Ailey." The music includes Johann Sebastian Bach (performed by Chris Thile, Edgar Meyere & Yo-Yo Ma), Mary Lou Williams Trio, and Asase Yaa. 

Jessica Lang's luminous 2018 premiere EN will also take the stage. Lang's 100th ballet and her Ailey choreographic debut, EN is a celebratory ensemble work set to original music by composer Jakub Ciupinski, with costumes by Bradon McDonald.

The tour will also include Wayne McGregor's striking Kairos - his second Company premiere (following 2013's Chroma), set to Vivaldi's The Four Seasons re-imagined by experimental composer Max Richter - and Robert Battle's first work for the Company, Juba (2003), a quartet with a score by frequent collaborator John Mackey. 

In honor of the 60th Anniversary, a Timeless Ailey program will bring treasures by the Company's iconic founder back to the stage. Excerpts from rarely seen gems, including Streams, Opus McShann, The Lark Ascending, For "Bird" - With Love, will be joined by perennial favorites like Memoria, Night Creature, and Cry.  

Alvin Ailey's American masterpiece Revelations which will reach every city on the tour. Since its creation in 1960, Revelations has been seen by more audiences around the world than any other modern work, inspiring generations through its powerful storytelling and soul-stirring spirituals. 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 African-American cultural heritage and explores the emotional spectrum of the human condition.

Complete programming for Ailey's North American tour to be announced. 

Additional Tour Activities

The Ailey organization is also excited to continue the Destination Dance Ailey Atlanta initiative through 2019. As the choreographer and cultural leader Alvin Ailey said, "Dance came from the people, and it should always be delivered back to the people." The goal of Destination Dance Ailey Atlanta is to engage Atlanta's vibrant cultural community through partnerships between Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater - which has been performing in the city since the 1970s - and Atlanta-based cultural, civic, and educational organizations. The pilot season of the program worked to deepen Ailey's connection and commitment to the city's cultural organizations through diverse year-round programming, and included dance classes, workshops, a panel event, and the first-ever Atlanta performances by Ailey II. Using dance as the centerpiece for engagement, the partner organizations present performances, classes and workshops for the public, education programs in schools, conversations with artists and civic leaders, and more. Destination Dance "connects the dots" between these various activities, and promotes them through the press, email, social media, and a website. The initiative brings together all aspects of the organization (Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Ailey II, The Ailey School, Ailey Extension, and Ailey Arts In Education - including AileyCamp), and currently partners with 10 area organizations. For more information, visit Destination.Dance.

Tour audiences are also invited to enjoy the "Ticket to Dance" promotion during their next visit to New York City. The offer allows audience members to try their first Ailey Extension class FREE with an Ailey performance ticket stub (offer is good for 60 days from the performance date for first time students, and when purchasing a 10-class card for returning students).  The Ailey Extension offers more than 25 dance and fitness techniques for people of all levels at Ailey's home, The Joan Weill Center for Dance. 

In conjunction with the tour, Ailey Extension will also step out of New York City and into select cities across the country to offer dance workshops to teens and adults of all backgrounds and levels. Designed to expand Alvin Ailey's life-long commitment of bringing dance to everyone, "Ailey Experience" workshops teach students the rich history of Ailey's signature style, which changed the perception of modern American dance around the world. Former Ailey dancers and world class instructors will lead Ailey Experience workshops in several cities, including Atlanta, Chicago, Charlotte, Washington, D.C. and more. Dates to be announced. For more information visit www.aileyextension.com.

The Ailey Organization continues its mission of using dance to educate young people through special activities, including master classes, student performances, lecture-demonstrations throughout the tour, and innovative curriculum-based residencies for public school students. Revelations: An Interdisciplinary Approach, created in 1999, and since implemented nationwide and internationally, uses Mr. Ailey's signature work, Revelations, as an organizing theme for a comprehensive, in-depth study of language arts, social studies and dance. Similarly, Night Creature: An Imaginative Journey Through Dance, uses Mr. Ailey's Night Creature, set to a sparkling score by Duke Ellington, as a framework for young students to explore the power of their imaginations through writing poetry, drawing, and creating their own choreography. This year, residences will be implemented in several cities, including Atlanta, Detroit, Los Angeles and Miami. In addition, AileyCamp - a free summer program that helps underserved youth reach their full potential - will return to 10 cities across the country next summer: Atlanta, Kansas City, Baltimore, Berkeley, Chicago, Miami, Seattle, New York City (Washington Heights), and Newark.

2019 NORTH AMERICAN TOUR (Subject to Change)

Feb 1-2 Toronto, Ontario Sony Centre for the Performing Arts

Feb 5-10 Washington, DC Opera House, John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts

Feb 14-17 Miami, FL Ziff Ballet Opera House, Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts

Feb 19 Orlando, FL Walt Disney Theater, Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts

Feb 21-24 Atlanta, GA The Fox Theatre

Feb 26-27 Charleston, SC Gaillard Municipal Auditorium, Gaillard Center

Mar 1-2 Philadelphia, PA Academy of Music Hall, Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts

Mar 6-10 Chicago, IL Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University

Mar 12 Minneapolis, MN Carlson Family Stage, Northrop Auditorium

Mar 15-17 Detroit, MI Detroit Opera House

Mar 19 Bloomington, IN Indiana University Auditorium

Mar 22-23 New Orleans, LA Mahalia Jackson Theater for the Performing Arts

Mar 26-27 San Diego, CA Copley Symphony Hall, Jacobs Music Center

Mar 29-30 Mesa, AZ Ikeda Theater, Mesa Arts Center

Apr 3-7 Los Angeles, CA LA Music Center, Dorothy Chandler Pavilion

Apr 9-14 Berkeley, CA Zellerbach Hall, University of California at Berkeley

Apr 23-24 Baltimore, MD Lyric Opera House, Modell Performing Arts Center

Apr 26-28 Cleveland, OH KeyBank State Theatre, Playhouse Square

May 1 Portland, ME Merrill Auditorium

May 2-5 Boston, MA The Wang Theatre, Boch Center

May 10-12 Newark, NJ Prudential Hall, New Jersey Performing Arts Center