You’re Invited To Alvin Ailey’s Classic Blues Suite To Commemorate The Company’s Anniversary

The Ailey organization continues to carry forward Alvin Ailey’s pioneering legacy of not only entertaining but uniting, empowering, and educating through Ailey All Access.

The online initiative offers free performance broadcasts from the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater repertory, Ailey Extension dance, conversations, and more.

Performance Broadcasts – Anniversary Presentation

On Tuesday, March 30, 2021, at 7 pm EDT, Alvin Ailey’s classic Blues Suite will be broadcast online to celebrate the Company’s first performance on this date in 1958.

Featuring an introduction by Alvin Ailey and a performance from the 1985 PBS Great Performances television special Three by Three, the anniversary presentation will stream free for two weeks.

“Blood memories” of rural, Depression-era southern Texas, come to life in Blues Suite, which defined Alvin Ailey’s choreographic genius of presenting real people on the concert dance stage.

With the rumble of a train and the toll of distant bells, a cast of vividly drawn characters from the barrelhouses and fields of his Texas childhood are summoned to dance and revel through one long, sultry night.

Ailey’s classic is set to songs of lost love, despair, and protest, expressing the sorrow, humor, and humanity of the blues, the heartfelt music that he called “hymns to the secular regions of the soul.”

Upcoming streaming broadcasts being presented in conjunction with Jazz Appreciation Month at 7 pm EDT include Night Creature on Wednesday, April 14, 2021, a bubbly champagne cocktail of a dance that perfectly fuses Alvin Ailey’s buoyant choreography and Duke Ellington’s sparkling music, as well as Members Don’t Get Weary on Wednesday, April 28, 2021, Resident Choreographer Jamar Roberts’ work set to the music of John Coltrane.

Additional online special programs in May and June will be announced later.

For further updates on the spring series and schedule, visit Ailey All Access and www.alvinailey.org

Ailey Extension Dance and Fitness Classes Birthday Celebration

Movers of all ages and experience levels are invited to enjoy a free workshop featuring student-favorite techniques to mark the Ailey Extension’s sweet 16 birthday and another year of welcoming all people to join in the dance.

On Saturday, April 3, 2021, the festivities kick off at 3:30 pm EDT with Jose Ozuna teaching a high-energy Zumba party; followed at 4 pm EDT by Karen Arceneaux leading Horton, the technique that is the foundation for many of Alvin Ailey’s signature works; and culminates at 4:30 pm EDT with TweetBoogie guiding students with a Hip Hop class that will have their hearts pumping.

Save your spot by signing up here.

Since 2005, the Extension has worked to make dance accessible to all people and enrich the lives of our community, nationally and internationally, through dance classes, workshops, student performances, and group visits with prominent dance instructors and musicians from around the world.

For more information about Ailey Extension’s expansive selection of more than 30 weekly classes in a variety of different styles including hip-hop, ballet, Horton, West African, samba, contemporary, BellydanceBURN, Broadway Jazz, and more, visit alvinailey.org/extension.

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Still, We Dance Campaign

As we move forward together, the Ailey organization will continue to find ways to build community, uplift with Ailey’s artistry, and celebrate the indomitable human spirit through dance.

During these unprecedented times, the Ailey organization is grateful for contributions to the Still, We Dance campaign that is making it possible to move forward and share Ailey All Access.

To enjoy a variety of digital content, follow Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and the Ailey Extension on Facebook and Instagram, The Ailey School on Instagram, and visit www.alvinailey.org regularly for updates.

Ailey Alley Access replaces the performances that would have been seen during Ailey’s National Tour.

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, 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 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

Photo Credit: AAADT in Alvin Ailey’s Blues Suite. Photo by Paul Kolnik

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