Presenting a special homage to our nation’s capital, Washington, D.C., appearances include guest of honor Smithsonian Secretary Lonnie G. Bunch III, Congressman James E. Clyburn, Harlem Artist/Activist Alicia Keys, and Former First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama.
The special one-hour program available through Saturday, June 26, 2021, treats virtual audiences to Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in three premieres expressing the evening’s themes choreographed by Company members, Ghrai DeVore-Stokes (Hope), Chalvar Monteiro (Promise), and Kanji Segawa (Future).
Ailey’s extraordinary dancers made various iconic New York City locations their stage to create the new dance films, including Hudson Yards, St. Nicholas Park, and The Unisphere, one of the largest globes ever made and built as a symbol of world peace.
The broadcast honors late Congressman John Lewis for his unwavering commitment to the Civil Rights Movement.
As part of the tribute, Congressman James E. Clyburn reflects on Mr. Lewis’ legacy, followed by excerpts from In Memory, a powerful film created as a commission for the virtual March on Washington Film Festival by Ailey resident choreographer Jamar Roberts.
The evening also features For Four, a filmed dance choreographed by Artistic Director Robert Battle set to “Delfeayo’s Dilemma” by Wynton Marsalis, and a performance by Clifton Brown and talented students from The Ailey School in Bird Lives!, based upon Alvin Ailey’s dance tribute to jazz legend Charlie “Bird” Parker.
The joyous program concluded with a post-gala dance party featuring music by DJ M.O.S. and DJ Kiss, which welcomed guests to join in the dance and celebrate the future of both the capital of our nation and the first city of dance, great legacies of hope that inspired us all, and the promise of the next generation.
The free presentation remains viewable via the Ailey Spring Gala website, for 48 hours until 7:30 pm EDT on Saturday, June 26; made possible through the generous support of Southern Company, a leading energy company serving nine million customers through its subsidiaries.
Benefit Co-Chairs are Michele & Timothy Barakett, Lyndon K. Boozer, Sela and Art Collins, Stephen J. Meringoff, Daria & Eric Wallach and Yelberton R. Watkins; Vice Chairs are Joyce Brayboy, Janell Mayo Duncan & Lawrence Duncan III, Tanya Leah Lombard, Nicole Venable, Vanessa Reed and Katharine Weymouth; and Corporate Chair is Southern Company President & CEO, Thomas A. Fanning.
The gala raises the vital funds needed to sustain important programs for young people, like scholarships to The Ailey School and Ailey’s Arts In Education & Community Programs, including AileyCamp – an innovative, full-scholarship summer day camp that uses dance as a means to help inner-city youth stretch their minds, bodies, and spirits.
This broadcast is an exceptional culmination of the performance series inspiring millions around the world as part of Ailey All Access, an online initiative featuring the streaming of weekly performances, short films by the dancers, dance and fitness classes and more, that has reached 15 million people in 121 countries since it kicked off in March 2020.