The Fabulous Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater Celebrates Its 65th Anniversary

January 25, 2024

After an acclaimed 65th Anniversary season launch in New York City, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater .

beloved as one of the world’s most popular dance companies – will continue to grace stages during a 21-city United States tour starting January 25, 2024, in Atlanta and continue coast-to-coast to cities like Washington, D.C., Miami, Boston, Chicago, Houston and Los Angeles, before culminating with a Mother’s Day performance in Newark on May 12. The passionate spirit and extraordinary technique of Ailey’s dancers will be showcased in a diverse repertory of new works, repertory favorites, and Ailey classics.  

The tour will include two season premieres specially commissioned for Ailey, Amy Hall Garner’s first work for the Company, CENTURY, and former Ailey dancer Elizabeth RoxasDobrish’s duet Me, Myself and YouCENTURY is a deeply personal piece inspired by Hall Garner’s grandfather on the eve of his 100th birthday. Taking a cue from his spirited essence and set to the music of Ray Charles, Count Basie, The Dirty Dozen Brass Band, and more, CENTURY is a celebration of life, resilience, and joy. 

Me, Myself, and You is a dreamlike dance about reminiscence. Set to Damien Sneed and Brandie Sutton’s rendition of “In A Sentimental Mood,” it conjures the memories of love and passion of a woman who is asking herself if she should let go or forge ahead.

New productions this season include Ronald K. Brown’s Dancing Spirit, set to music by Duke Ellington, Wynton Marsalis, and War. A work that contributes to the 65th Anniversary theme of paying tribute to the women of Ailey, Dancing Spirit evokes the elegance, dignity, and generosity of legendary Artistic Director Emerita Judith Jamison.


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Other new productions are Alonzo King’s Following the Subtle Current Upstream, an audacious, non-stop piece with movement that is abstract but steeped in meaning that mirrors life’s boisterous waves; Jamar Roberts’s Ode, a meditation on the beauty and fragility of life in a time of gun violence, set to Don Pullen’s Suite (Sweet) Malcolm (Part 1 Memory and Gunshots) with an all-female cast; and the seven-minute tour-de-force Solo by Hans van Manen, the internationally celebrated choreographer long associated with the Dutch National Ballet.

This season’s beloved Ailey Classics program highlights a selection of repertory spanning the breadth of Mr. Ailey’s rich catalog, including excerpts of Memoria, Night Creature (sections 2&3), Pas de Duke (1st song), Masekela Langage (Morolo), Opus McShann (Gee Baby), Opus McShann (Doo Wah), Love Songs (A Song for You), For ‘Bird’ – With Love (A Night in Tunisia), Hidden Rites (Of Love), For ‘Bird’ – With Love(Bird Lives).

Performances of Alvin Ailey’s must-see American masterpiece Revelations will inspire audiences in every city on the tour. Since its creation in 1960, Revelations has been seen by more people around the world than any other modern dance work, moving audiences with its powerful storytelling and soul-stirring music and evoking timeless themes of determination, hope, and transcendence.

Springing from Ailey’s childhood memories of growing up in the South and attending services at Mount Olive Baptist Church in Texas, Revelations pays homage to the rich cultural heritage of the African American community and explores the emotional spectrum of the human condition.  

More, More, More

The Ailey Organization continues its mission of using dance to educate young people through special activities, including master classes, student performances, lecture demonstrations throughout the tour, innovative curriculum-based residencies for public school students, and AileyDance for Active Aging workshops for adults 50+. The Revelations: An Interdisciplinary Approach residency uses Alvin Ailey’s signature work as the inspirational framework for a comprehensive study of language arts, social studies, and dance.

The innovative program actively engages participants in reflecting, discussing, creating, performing, and assessing, while exploring the life story of Alvin Ailey and Revelations. In conjunction with the tour, residences are being implemented in Atlanta, Auburn, Los Angeles, and Miami. In addition, students from AileyCamp a free summer program that helps youth reach their full potential— will experience the magic of the Company’s live performances. The award-winning program celebrating its 35th birthday is operating in 10 cities across the country: Atlanta, Baltimore, Berkeley/Oakland, Chicago, Kansas City (KS and MO), Miami, New York City (Bronx), Newark, and Seattle.  

The Ailey School, the official school of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater offering world-class dance training to students ages 3-25, will conduct auditions for the 2024-2025 academic programs as well as the 2024 summer intensive at tour cities including Atlanta, Boston, Birmingham, Baltimore/DMV area, Miami, Los Angeles, and Houston.

The mission of The Ailey School is to make dance accessible to outstanding students through a curriculum of rigorous and diversified dance training. Nearly 80% of current Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater members received their pre-professional training from The Ailey School. For further information regarding the audition schedule, please click here

Ailey II, the next generation of dance providing a bridge between The Ailey School and the professional dance world, will mark its 50th anniversary of bringing “off-the-charts energy” to the stage by embarking on a world tour from January 20 – May 19, inspiring audiences from Rotterdam, Netherlands to Kansas City, Missouri. Click here for the 2024 tour schedule. 

In conjunction with the tour, Ailey Extension will also step out of New York City and into select cities across the country to offer dance workshops to teens and adults of all backgrounds and levels. Designed to expand Alvin Ailey’s lifelong commitment to bringing dance to everyone, Ailey Experience workshops teach students the rich history of Ailey’s signature style, which changed the perception of modern American dance around the world.

From January through August, former Ailey dancers and world-class instructors will lead Ailey Experience workshops in several cities, including Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, Philadelphia, and Washington DC. Click here for more information. Meanwhile, audiences around the world can get moving with Ailey Extension’s daily “real classes for real people” in a variety of dance and fitness techniques either online or in-studio at the Joan Weill Center for Dance – New York’s largest building dedicated to dance –  please visit alvinailey.org/extension.

The capstone to the 65th anniversary season will be Edges of Ailey, the first large-scale museum exhibition to reflect on the life, work, and legacy of visionary artist Alvin Ailey, in collaboration with the Whitney Museum of American Art. Presented in the Museum’s 18,000+ square-foot fifth-floor galleries, this multifaceted presentation encompasses a multimedia exhibition, daily performance program, and scholarly catalog to offer a richly layered experience for understanding the artist anew.

In 1958, Alvin Ailey and a small group of dancers took the stage in New York and forever changed American dance and culture. One of the country’s groundbreaking greats, his Company earned a reputation as one of the finest international ambassadors of American culture, promoting the uniqueness of the African American cultural experience and the preservation and enrichment of American modern dance.

For more information on Ailey’s upcoming performances, visit www.alvinailey.org.  
For additional press materials, including bios, b-roll, and photos, members of the media may visit pressroom.alvinailey.org

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, one of the world’s most beloved dance companies, embarks on a national tour from January 25 – May 12, 2024. Ailey’s extraordinary dancers will move audiences with world premieres, new productions, repertory favorites, and classics like the American masterpiece Revelations, acclaimed as a must-see for all.

For more information, visit www.alvinailey.org.

Generous support for Reflections in D was received from Laren and Jesse Brill

All performances of Revelations are permanently endowed by a generous gift from Donald L. Jonas in celebration of the birthday of his wife, Barbara, and her deep commitment to Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. 

Major support of this production of Survivors is made possible by Judith McDonough Kaminski & Joseph Kaminski, and Daria L. & Eric J. Wallach. 

2024 Tour Dates and Venues (subject to change)


New Works 

Century

Choreography by Amy Hall Garner                                                                                           

Music: Various Artists

Amy Hall Garner’s first work for Ailey is a deeply personal piece inspired by her grandfather on the eve of his 100th birthday. Taking a cue from his spirited essence and set to the music of Ray Charles, Count Basie, The Dirty Dozen Brass Band, and more, CENTURY is a pure dance work celebrating life, resilience, and joy.  

Me, Myself, and You 
Choreography by Elizabeth Roxas-Dobrish                                                                     
Music: Duke Ellington
A dreamlike duet by former Ailey dancer Elizabeth Roxas-Dobrish, Me, Myself and You is a dance about reminiscence. Set to Damien Sneed and Brandie Sutton’s rendition of “In A Sentimental Mood,” it conjures the memories of love and passion for a woman asking herself if she should let go or forge ahead.  

New Production 

Dancing Spirit (2009) 
Choreography by Ronald K. Brown           
Music: Duke Ellington, Wynton Marsalis, Radiohead, War
Ronald K. Brown pays tribute to Judith Jamison’s profound influence with a moving work that echoes the title of Jamison’s autobiography. Set to music by Duke Ellington, Wynton Marsalis, and War, Brown’s evocative choreography uses movement from Cuba, Brazil, and the United States to conjure dancing spirits who embody Jamison’s elegance, dignity, and generosity. 

Following the Subtle Current Upstream (2000)
Choreography by Alonzo King                         
Music: Zakir Hussain, Miguel Frasconi, and Miriam Makeba 
Alonzo King’s work investigates deeply rooted affinities between Western and Eastern classical forms, elemental materials, the natural world, and the human spirit. Described by choreographer Alonzo King as “a piece about how to return to joy,” Following the Subtle Current Upstream mirrors life’s boisterous waves and reminds us that everything in nature seeks to return to its source. King’s movement — abstract but steeped in meaning — sets the dancers in constant flow to an eclectic score by Zakir Hussain, Miguel Frasconi, and Miriam Makeba. 

Ode (2019)
Choreography by Jamar Roberts                                                                                        
Music: Don Pullen 
Former Ailey dancer Jamar Roberts offers a meditation on the beauty and fragility of life in a time of growing gun violence. This tender, engrossing work will be staged with an all-female cast and features a jazz score—Don Pullen’s “Suite (Sweet) Malcolm (Part 1 Memories and Gunshots)”—and Roberts’s costume designs.  

Solo (1997)
Choreography by Hans van Manen                                                                   
Music: Johann Sebastian Bach 
Hans van Manen divides his dynamic Solo among three dancers in a tour-de-force that challenges the Ailey men’s daring, agility, and grace. This explosive display of virtuosity and wit, set to a Bach violin suite, launches the performers into an exhilarating whirlwind of movement and musicality. 

Returning Favorites 

Are You in Your Feelings? (2022)
Choreography by Kyle Abraham                                                                                   
Music: Various Artists 
Acclaimed choreographer Kyle Abraham’s recent popular work is a celebration of Black culture, Black music, and the youthful spirit that perseveres in us all.  Scored to a “mixtape” of soul, hip-hop, and R&B featuring beloved musical artists like Jhené Aiko, Drake, Lauryn Hill, Kendrick Lamar, Jazmine Sullivan, and Summer Walker, the critically applauded work resonates with the themes of love and relationships. “A lot of these songs are the songs that I play when I’m at my lowest and my highest. I wanted to find a way to thank those artists for their music and thank our culture for their contributions to this world in which we live.” -Kyle Abraham 

Ailey Classics
Choreography by Alvin Ailey                                                                                       
Music: Various Artists
This season’s beloved Ailey Classics program highlights a selection of repertory spanning the breadth of Mr. Ailey’s rich catalog, including excerpts of Memoria, Night Creature (sections 2&3), Pas de Duke (1st song), Masekela Langage(Morolo), Opus McShann (Gee Baby), Opus McShann (Doo Wah), Love Songs (A Song for You), For ‘Bird’ – With Love (A Night in Tunisia), Hidden Rites (Of Love), For ‘Bird’ – With Love (Bird Lives).

Survivors (1986) 
Choreography by Alvin Ailey and Mary Barnett             
Music: Max Roach, strings orchestrated by Peter Phillips 
Alvin Ailey’s passionate tribute to the profound courage and terrible anguish of Nelson and Winnie Mandela is, more broadly, a portrait of people transformed by injustice. Max Roach’s richly varied drumming and Abbey Lincoln’s vocals set the emotional tone for this powerful work that lifts those who resist oppression in any form. 

Signature Masterpiece
Revelations (1960) 
Choreography by Alvin Ailey                                                                                 
Music: Traditional Spirituals 
More than just a popular dance work, Revelations has become a cultural treasure, beloved by generations of fans and acclaimed as a must‐see for all. Alvin Ailey’s signature masterpiece is a tribute to his heritage. Using African American spirituals, the work fervently explores the places of deepest grief and holiest joy in the soul. Seeing Revelations for the first time or the hundredth can be a transcendent experience. Audiences cheer, sing along, and dance in their seats from the opening notes of the plaintive “I Been ’Buked” to the rousing “Wade in the Water” and the triumphant finale, “Rocka My Soul in the Bosom of Abraham.” 

*All Programming – Subject to Change

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 was led until 2023 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 6 continents—as well as millions more through television broadcasts, film screenings, and online platforms—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 the New York City Center, where its performances have become a year‐end tradition, the Ailey company performs annually at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts; 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 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

For more information, visit www.alvinailey.org

Photo credit: 1) Alvin Ailey. 2-3) Archives.

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