For the first time, the Ailey organization’s annual Ailey Spirit Gala will be held in the home of Jazz at Lincoln Center, on Wednesday, May 24, 2023.
The special event celebrates the art and soul of dance with a unique performance featuring a piece d’occasion entitled Chasing the Spirit created by choreographer and former Ailey Company member Hope Boykin, as well as an excerpt of Alvin Ailey’s uplifting Revelations, followed by a festive soirée.
Honorary Chair for the evening is GRAMMY® Award-winning singer-songwriter, activist, and Golden Globe-winning actress Andra Day. Day rose to stardom with her smash hit song “Rise Up,” which amassed 1 billion streams, and made her feature-acting debut as Billie Holiday in the biopic “The United States vs. Billie Holiday.” Day is currently working on her highly anticipated second studio album while preparing for the upcoming release of her second leading film directed by Lee Daniels, a Netflix thriller titled, “The Deliverance.”
In the spectacular, one-night-only performance, the renowned Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater will appear on stage with outstanding dancers from Ailey II, talented students from The Ailey School, and youngsters from AileyCamp. Drummers from the Ailey Extension will kick off the special evening bringing together the entire multigenerational Ailey family in a tribute to the power of dance to unite, uplift, and inspire.
The evening continues with dining, music stylings of DJ M.O.S., and dancing in the gorgeous Appel Room with a stunning wall of glass with views of Central Park and the Manhattan skyline. Co-chaired by Len and Emily Blavatnik, Ailey Trustee Dr. Danielle Robinson and the Reverend Dwayne McClary, and Ailey Board Chair Daria L. Wallach and Eric J. Wallach, the Ailey Spirit Gala will raise funds in support of Ailey’s vital programs for young people, including scholarships for talented students of The Ailey School and innovative Arts In Education & Community Programs. The Ailey Spirit Gala is sponsored by Diageo North America.
For tickets and information, visit alvinailey.org/support/ailey-spirit-gala or call 212-405-9029.
“The Ailey Spirit Gala is the one time of the year when the beating heart of everything Ailey joins in celebration and moves together with love,” said Robert Battle, Artistic Director of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. “I can’t wait to experience Hope Boykin’s special premiere featuring dancers of different ages from throughout Ailey, displaying the legacy of spiritual reciprocity that nourishes us and inspires all.”
“We’re deeply grateful to our co-chairs, our sponsor, and the patrons who will join us on May 24 for their contributions toward bringing dance to the next generation,” stated Bennett Rink, Executive Director of Ailey. “For this unique celebration, we applaud all the dancers involved from across the entire Ailey organization who showed us so beautifully the importance of passing forward the spirit of dance.”
The Ailey Spirit Gala will follow the successful culmination of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s 2023 North American tour, which will conclude with three performances in New Jersey Performing Arts Center as part of their annual Mother’s Day Weekend, May 12 to May 14. The 22-city tour began in February in Toronto, the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, and the Fox Theater in Atlanta and from coast-to-coast before reaching NJPAC in Newark.
Spring festivities continue with the New York season of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater presented this year by the Brooklyn Academy of Music, with seven performances scheduled June 6 – 11 in the BAM Howard Gilman Opera House. The company brings its passionate energy and dazzling technique back to BAM for the first since 2010 with two exuberant programs of recent works and classic audience favorites: Brooklyn Bonds—featuring rarely performed pieces by renowned choreographers Kyle Abraham, Ronald K. Brown, and Twyla Tharp; and All Ailey—which includes Ailey’s must-see masterpiece Revelations.
For more information, and to purchase tickets starting at $35, visit alvinailey.org.
The Ailey Spirit Gala is sponsored by Diageo North America.
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
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 six continents, 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 the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC, the Auditorium Theatre in Chicago, 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—named The Joan Weill Center for Dance, at 55th Street at 9th Avenue in New York City.
For more information, visit www.alvinailey.org.
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