Beloved as one of the world’s most popular dance companies, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater returns to Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts for a seven-performance engagement at the David H. Koch Theater June 13 – 17, 2018. Led by Artistic Director Robert Battle as it reaches six decades, the Company’s repertory for the season features works by eight choreographers – including a world premiere by Jessica Lang – across three programs. Alvin Ailey’s must-see masterpiece Revelations is the uplifting finale of each performance.
The 2018 Lincoln Center engagement opens on Wednesday, June 13 at 7:30pm with the Celebrate Women program, featuring works by three trailblazing female choreographers. Jessica Lang makes her Ailey choreographic debut with the world premiere of EN – whose multiple meanings in Japanese signify circle, destiny, fate, and karma. A celebratory ensemble work set to original music by composer Jakub Ciupinski, with costumes by Bradon McDonald, En marks Lang’s 100th ballet. The program also includes Judith Jamison’s A Case of You, an emotional and sensual duet set to Diana Krall’s version of the song by the same title, and Jawole Willa Jo Zollar’s Shelter, a gripping portrait of homelessness with an inventive score of drumming and poetry. This new production features revised spoken word highlighting recent hurricanes and how our shelter can be threatened by climate change. Celebrate Women repeats on Saturday, June 16 at 8pm.
On Thursday, June 14 at 7pm, The Ailey Spirit Gala benefit honoring Board member Jaishri Kapoor and Vikas Kapoor will raise vital funds to support scholarships for talented students of The Ailey School and Ailey’s extensive Arts In Education & Community Programs. Along with the world-renowned Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, the one-night-only benefit performance will include the rising stars of Ailey II, gifted young dancers from The Ailey School, and blossoming students from AileyCamp. A soirée on the promenade follows the performance. Tickets are available online at alvinailey.org/ailey-spirit-gala or by calling 212-405-9031.
The Ailey, Then & Now program on Friday, June 15 at 8pm highlights visionaries whose work is central to the Ailey repertory. Restaged for his centennial, American dance pioneer Talley Beatty’s Stack-Up sizzles with street life and physical pyrotechnics in a brutal yet poignant story set to a vibrant 1970s beat (Earth, Wind & Fire, Grover Washington Jr., Fearless Four, and Alphonze Mouzon) and a graffiti landscape décor adapted from a painting by prominent American artist Romare Bearden. Artistic Director Robert Battle’s choreography also takes the stage in two striking ballets: Mass, a thrilling ensemble work set to a score by his frequent collaborator John Mackey, and the emotional solo In/Side, set to Nina Simone’s “Wild is the Wind.” Ailey, Then & Now repeats on Sunday, June 17 at 3pm.
On Saturday, June 16 at 2pm, the Musical Icons program is sure to move audiences with a series of works featuring music by legendary artists. Ailey dancer Jamar Roberts’ 2017-18 season world premiere Members Don’t Get Weary is “a response to the current social landscape in America,” and “takes an abstract look into the notion of one ‘having the blues.’” Set to the powerful music of the legendary jazz saxophonist and composer John Coltrane, the work aims to allow the audience to momentarily transcend their own personal blues. Tony Award-winning choreographer Twyla Tharp’s The Golden Section is a sizzling ensemble work, set to a propulsive score by David Byrne, that shatters the limits of human physicality with breathtaking leaps, finely-honed partnering, and explosive joy. Battle’s duet Ella matches Ella Fitzgerald’s virtuosic scatting with lightning-fast, articulated movement in an irresistible tour-de-force that leaves audiences (and the dancers) breathless. This Family Matinee performance is followed by a free Q&A with the Ailey dancers. The Musical Icons program repeats on Sunday, June 17 at 7:30pm.
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater inspires all in a universal celebration of the human spirit using the African-American cultural experience and American modern dance tradition. 60 years after its founding, Ailey continues to move forward under the leadership of Robert Battle, revealing once again why Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater is one of the world’s most beloved dance companies.
Tickets for the Lincoln Center engagement starting at $29 can be purchased at the David H. Koch Box Office, by phone at 212-496-0600, and online at alvinailey.org/LC. For further information about discounts for groups, students, and Ailey’s tour performances, please visit www.alvinailey.org. The program schedule is detailed below.
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater is currently on a 21-city national tour that ends on Mother’s Day weekend May 11 – 13 at the beautiful Prudential Hall of the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark, where Ailey is the Principal Resident Affiliate. For schedule and tickets, visit www.njpac.org.
Photo credit: AAADT’s Yannick Lebrun in Talley Beatty’s Stack-Up. Photo by Paul Kolnik.