Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, recognized by U.S. Congress as “a vital American cultural ambassador to the world,” returns to the United Kingdom, Lausanne, Switzerland, and Copenhagen, Denmark to perform a dozen ballets from September 6 – October 30, 2016. Robert Battle will lead Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater through the UK (September 9 – October 19) for the first time since becoming Artistic Director, including the Company’s inaugural visits to Southampton and Canterbury, England. Presented by Dance Consortium, the UK engagement will include 10 works performed across 10 cities. The Company will then head to the Salle Métropole inLausanne (October 22 – 23) and The Tivoli Concert Hall in Copenhagen (October 26 – 30). Bank of America is the lead sponsor of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s 2016 and 2017 international tours.
After a 20-city United States tour and a rousing spring season at New York City’s Lincoln Center, European audiences have the opportunity to experience the unparalleled artistry and prowess of Ailey’s 32 dancers, as they perform in a robust repertory of new works and Ailey classics. The performances feature the international premieres of Awakening (2015), Robert Battle’s first world premiere since becoming Artistic Director, and celebrated choreographer Ronald K. Brown’s Cuban-inspired Open Door (2015), set to Grammy Award-winning music by Arturo O’Farrill and the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra. The dancers will also perform in Alvin Ailey’s classic works Night Creature, a dazzling ballet set to music by Duke Ellington, and Cry, the female solo made famous by Judith Jamison and dedicated to “all black women everywhere – especially our mothers.”
“I’m proud to continue Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s legacy of extensive international tours with my inaugural visit leading the Company’s extraordinary dancers through the United Kingdom and to Lausanne. We are also thrilled to return to Copenhagen, where Tivoli audiences have always welcomed the Company so warmly,” said Artistic Director Robert Battle. “We’ll share a diverse repertory of works, including several premieres. Audiences old and new will experience the performances that have touched the hearts and minds of people the world over, fulfilling Mr. Ailey’s belief that ‘Dance came from the people and should always be delivered back to the people.”
All programs close with Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s must-see American masterpiece, Revelations, which is a tribute to his heritage and a testament to his genius. Seen by more people than any other modern dance work since its debut in 1960, Revelations has moved audiences around the world through its powerful storytelling and soul-stirring music, evoking timeless themes of determination, hope and transcendence. At each stop, audiences will be able to share in a unique and moving cultural experience, thanks to the sponsorship of Bank of America. Support enabling Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and other major American performing arts organizations to tour internationally is part of Bank of America’s strategy to increase cultural understanding and open opportunities for dialogue through the arts. In addition, Bank of America is working with Ailey to provide educational outreach programs during the international tour.
“Bank of America’s support of the arts reflects our belief that the Arts Matter as they help economies thrive, help individuals connect with each other and across cultures, and educate and enrich societies,” said Rena DeSisto, Global Arts & Culture executive for Bank of America. “We are pleased to help Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in their important role as cultural ambassador by being their international tour sponsor for the second year in a row.”
“We are so appreciative of Bank of America’s two-year sponsorship of Ailey’s upcoming international tours, and for their major support over the years,” shared Bennett Rink, Ailey’s Executive Director. “Their generous backing furthers Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s mission of using dance to unite and inspire people of all ages around the world.”
Additional repertory highlights include Ronald K. Brown’s powerful Four Corners, beloved hip-hop choreographer Rennie Harris’ stirringExodus, Aszure Barton’s exhilarating LIFT, Christopher Wheeldon’s dreamlike After the Rain Pas de Deux, and Paul Taylor’s sizzling Piazzolla Caldera. The Copenhagen engagement also includes performances of Talley Beatty’s jazzy Toccata and Judith Jamison’s emotional and sensual A Case of You duet, set to the Diana Krall song by the same title.
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater uses the African-American cultural experience and the American modern dance tradition in a universal celebration of the human spirit. Having performed in 71 countries on six continents for an estimated 25 million people worldwide, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s moving performances are renowned for bringing audiences around the globe to their feet with an incomparable sense of joy, freedom, and spirit.
Detailed 2016 international tour programming information and schedule is below (subject to change). For further details on Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and the Ailey organization’s performances, training programs, and educational activities, visit www.alvinailey.org