Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, beloved as one of the world’s most popular dance companies, will return to Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts for a seven-performance engagement at the David H. Koch Theater June 14 – 18, 2017. Today, Artistic Director Robert Battle announced repertory for the season, which features the work of seven choreographers and recent premieres on three exciting programs, along with the Company debut of Battle’s 2004 work Mass, set to an original score by John Mackey performed with live music. Alvin Ailey’s must-see masterpiece Revelations is the uplifting finale of each performance.
The 2017 Lincoln Center engagement opens on Wednesday, June 14 with the Musical Inspirations program, featuring the Ailey debut of Robert Battle’s Mass, an ensemble work set to a score by his frequent collaborator John Mackey. Performed with six percussionists onstage, Mass showcases Battle’s signature ritualistic choreography. The program also includes works that pay tribute to jazz legends during their centennials – Battle’s 2016 Company premiere Ella, set to Ella Fitzgerald’s virtuosic scatting in “Air Mail Special”; and the 2016 new production of Billy Wilson’s The Winter in Libson, a rhythmic and colorful celebration of the great Dizzy Gillespie. Musical Inspirations repeats on the Family Matinee Saturday, June 17 at 2pm, followed by a free Q&A with the Ailey dancers.
On Thursday, June 15 at 7pm, The Ailey Spirit Gala benefit honoring Board Vice Chairman Stephen Meringoff 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. Tickets are available online at alvinailey.org/ailey-spirit-gala or by calling 212-405-9031.
In the Global Voices program on Friday, June 16, 2017 the versatile Ailey dancers will perform dynamic works by two of Europe’s most in-demand choreographers: Mauro Bigonzetti’s Deep, set to the soulful music of rising global stars Ibeyi; and Johan Inger’s 2016 Company premiereWalking Mad, a daring, humorous and poignant take on Maurice Ravel’s Boléro that imaginatively employs a movable wall. Global Voices repeats on Sunday, June 18, 2017 at 7:30pm.
The Bold Visions program on Saturday, June 17 at 8pm features recent world premieres that shine a spotlight on society and the African-American experience – a founding tenet of the Company. Ailey dancer Hope Boykin’s r-Evolution, Dream. was inspired by the speeches and sermons of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. that she encountered during a visit to the Center for Civil and Human Rights in Atlanta during the Company’s annual U.S. tour. The large ensemble work melds creative storytelling with new music by Ali Jackson (Jazz at Lincoln Center) and historical and original writings narrated by Tony Award winner Leslie Odom, Jr. (Hamilton). MacArthur “Genius” Kyle Abraham’s Untitled America focuses on the impact of the prison system on African-American families. Developed over three seasons, the haunting production features interviews by those affected by incarceration and Abraham’s signature avant-garde aesthetic. Bold Visions repeats on Sunday, June 18 at 3pm.
Following the Lincoln Center engagement, the Company will embark on an International Tour from July 4 – September 10 with performances in Paris, Basel, Copenhagen, and five cities across Germany. The Paris engagement will mark the first dance performance atLa Seine Musicale, a new venue on an island in the Seine, set to open next month. Programming for Ailey’s 2017 International Tour will be announced soon.
Tickets for the Lincoln Center engagement starting at $25 can be purchased starting on Monday, April 3 at the David H. Koch Box Office, by phone at 212-496-0600, and online at www.alvinailey.org. 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 19-city coast-to-coast national tour that ends in the tri-state area on Mother’s Day weekend May 12 – 14, 2017 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.