Ailey Moves Forward With Free Performances And Series Marking 15 Years Of Ailey Extension

The Ailey organization continues to share the Ailey spirit with people wherever they are during this challenging time through Ailey All Access – free online streaming series featuring performances of full length works from the repertory, Ailey Extension dance classes, and original short films created by the Ailey dancers, and other especially created content.

Today’s performance broadcast at 7pm ET will feature two works danced by rising stars of Ailey II, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s junior company that serves as a bridge between The Ailey School and professional dance world, introduced by Artistic Director Troy Powell and dancer and choreographer Yannick Lebrun.  The program includes performances and behind-the-scenes footage of Ailey Company member Yannick Lebrun’s intimate Saa Magni (pronounced ‘SAH MAHg-knee’) – a passionate duet dealing with mourning and solace – and South African-born Bradley Shelver’s high-energy Where There Are Tongues, a ballet inspired by the idea that we are all in this world together, succeeding or failing as a collective. The performance series continues next Thursday, April 9 at 7pm ET with Artistic Director Emerita Judith Jamison’s Divining, a pulsating, mysterious quest with African polyrhythms, complex movement, and dynamic dancing. Other upcoming broadcasts include Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in Rennie Harris’ Lazarus (Thursday, April 16) and Alvin Ailey’s Night Creature (Thursday, April 23).

In addition to weekly broadcasts, Ailey Extension’s dance and fitness program for the general public continues their mission to unite the community with daily online classes in an effort to help people #KeepDancing. Led by former Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater company member Lisa Johnson- Willingham, the Ailey Extension will mark the start of its 15th Anniversary Celebration this Sunday, April 5 through a Virtual Dance Party from 4pm-6pm ET with a relay of instructors conducting class on Instagram every 30 minutes, including: Cardio Dance with Matthew Johnson Harris, Horton Combination with Karen Arceneaux, Hip Hop with Jonathan Lee, Vogue with Cesar Valentino, and West African with Maguette Camara. The fun doesn’t stop with the Virtual Dance Party.

To take the fun and fitness one step further, the Ailey Extension invites participants to learn Tweetboogie’s easy to follow Hip Hop combination and tag @aileyextension in their Instagram videos learning the routine.  Ailey Extension will put the spotlight on participants by sharing videos of students enjoying the challenge from home.

Also, to prepare for a return to classes at The Ailey Studios, starting April 5 through May 5 students can take advantage of a special 15 class card for $225 (just $15 per class). The class cards are valid for three months from the date of activation and can be activated any time over the next 365 days. Class cards can be purchased online here. This spring, Ailey Extension encourages all to stay healthy, energized, and keep dancing at home with the online class videos and Livestream classes at aileyextension.com/keepdancing.

To enjoy a variety of digital content, follow Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and the Ailey Extension on Facebook and Instagram, Ailey II on Facebook, and The Ailey School on Instagram, as well as visit Ailey AllAccess and  www.alvinailey.org regularly for updates.

In case you missed it, Ailey in the News:

BET – How to Watch Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater During Coronavirus Lockdown

CNN – From Struggle to Triumph, Ailey Artistic Director Robert Battle reveals what drives him

The New York Times – How Ailey’s Constance Stamatiou Stays in Shape Without a Stage

Bank of America is Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s National Tour Sponsor.
The 2020 National Tour is supported, in part, by the National Endowment for the Arts.


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Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, recognized by U.S. Congressional resolution as a vital American “Cultural Ambassador to the World,” grew from a now‐fabled March 1958 performance in New York that changed forever the perception of American dance. Founded by Alvin Ailey, recent posthumous recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom – the nation’s highest civilian honor, and guided by Judith Jamison beginning in 1989, the Company is now led by Robert Battle, whom Judith Jamison chose to succeed her on July 1, 2011. Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater has performed for an estimated 25 million people in 71 countries on 6 continents – as well as millions more through television broadcasts, film screenings, and online platforms – promoting the uniqueness of the African‐American cultural experience and the preservation and enrichment of the American modern dance tradition.

In addition to being the Principal Dance Company of New York City Center, where its performances have become a year‐end tradition, the Ailey company performs annually at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC, the Auditorium Theatre in Chicago, the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami‐Dade County in Miami, The Fox Theatre in Atlanta, Zellerbach Hall in Berkeley, CA and at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark where it is the Principal Resident Affiliate), and appears frequently in other major theaters throughout the United States and the world during extensive yearly tours.

The Ailey organization also includes Ailey II (1974), a second performing company of emerging young dancers and innovative choreographers; The Ailey School (1969), one of the most extensive dance training programs in the world; Ailey Arts in Education & Community Programs, which brings dance into the classrooms, communities and 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 home—the largest building dedicated to dance in New York City, the dance capital of the world.

Joan Weill Center for Dance, 55th Street, NY, www.alvinailey.org.

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