Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater's Upcoming Season
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater's Rachael McLaren, Glenn Allen Sims, and Jacqueline Green. Photo by Andrew Eccles
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, beloved as one of the world’s most popular dance companies and New York City Center’s Principal Dance Company, will return to the New York City Center stage for the 42nd consecutive year from December 4, 2013 – January 5, 2014 with exciting performances that have become a joyous holiday tradition.
Artistic Director Robert Battle continues to expand the Company’s diverse repertory with premieres and new productions representing a wide range of important choreographic voices that give Ailey’s extraordinary group of artists new ways to inspire audiences.
In-demand choreographer Aszure Barton’s world premiere is an exhilarating conversation with Ailey’s renowned dancers, who inspired the process, movement and composition, as well as the original, percussive score by musical partner Curtis Macdonald. With a collaborative stylistic approach that is constantly evolving and like no other, Barton’s unique and award-winning choreographic achievements are increasingly gaining wide recognition and have been presented by a diverse group of important national and international dance companies.
Wayne McGregor’s Chroma is a ballet filled with layered, beautiful dancing and astonishing lifts. The Ailey company premiere, made possible with the generous support of New York City Center, marks the first time a work by this multi award-winning British choreographer will appear in the Ailey repertory. Set to an amalgam of original music by Joby Talbot and orchestrations of music by Jack White III of The White Stripes, the work explores McGregor’s curiosity of a concept freed from whiteness and the drama of the human body. Created in 2006 for The Royal Ballet, a luminous, minimalist set designed by architect John Pawson uses motifs of inside and outside, entrance and exit, light and shadow, void and plenitude, to create a spatially charged environment explored through the medium of the ten dancers’ bodies.
Modern dance innovator Bill T. Jones’s D-Man in the Waters is a true modern-dance classic and a New York Dance and Performance (“Bessie”) Award-winning work. Set to Mendelssohn’s Octet for Strings in E-flat Major, Op. 20 (1825), it is a celebration of life and the resiliency of the human spirit that embodies loss, hope and triumph. The addition of this joyful tour-de-force to Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s repertory comes 30 years after Alvin Ailey originally invited Bill T. Jones to create Fever Swamp for the Company.
Ailey’s extraordinary dancers have become known as inspiring interpreters of the unique dance storytelling of celebrated choreographer Ronald K. Brown. Four Corners, set to the music of Carl Hancock Rux and various artists, recently had its acclaimed world premiere during Ailey’s historic engagement at Lincoln Center’s David H. Koch Theater. Using Brown’s signature blend of modern dance and West African idioms, the work’s eleven dancers bring to life the vision of four angels standing on the four corners of the earth holding the four winds.
For the 2013-2014 season, Associate Artistic Director Masazumi Chaya will restage new productions of The River and Pas de Duke - two of the 14 ballets founder Alvin Ailey created during his career that celebrate the musical genius of the legendary American composer Duke Ellington.
Originally choreographed in 1970 for American Ballet Theatre and first performed by Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in 1980, The River features Ellington’s first symphonic score written specifically for dance. The suite combines classical ballet, modern dance and jazz in sections suggesting tumbling rapids and slow currents on a voyage to the great sea, mirroring the journey of human existence.
Pas de Duke was Alvin Ailey’s modern dance translation of a classical pas de deux honoring two of the most renowned dancers in the world, Judith Jamison and Mikhail Baryshnikov. It was first presented as part of the “Ailey Celebrates Ellington” festival at Lincoln Center’s New York State Theater in 1976, commemorating the nation’s bicentennial with America’s two great art forms - modern dance and jazz music. Last staged for Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater during the 2006-2007 season, it captures the exuberance of the star dancers’ qualities and techniques as the male and female soloists go toe-to-toe and line-for-line in a bravura and playful competition.
A special performance will be held on Tuesday, December 17th celebrating renowned Guest Artist Matthew Rushing, who has been inspiring Ailey audiences for over two decades. A former student of The Ailey School and member of Ailey II, who was also appointed Rehearsal Director by Robert Battle, Rushing has been acclaimed as one of the great male artists on the American concert dance stage.
“It is exciting to pair the amazing artistry of the Ailey dancers with important choreographic voices to further expand the repertory and give our audiences in New York and around the world a cornucopia of treasures to enjoy. It gives me great pleasure to provide a platform to share new and acclaimed works by a variety of dance makers - from Aszure Barton, Ronald K. Brown and Bill T. Jones to Wayne McGregor, Ohad Naharin and Jiří Kylián,” stated Artistic Director Robert Battle. “Along with performances of repertory favorites, new productions from our founder Alvin Ailey’s legendary collaboration with Duke Ellington, and the opportunity to pay tribute to the incomparable Matthew Rushing, there will be much to see and celebrate during Ailey’s five-week holiday season at New York City Center.”
The December 4th Opening Night Gala Benefit performance and party will launch the season with a fundraiser to support Ailey’s extensive educational and training programs for young people. Following the exciting company premiere performance of Chroma, Revelations danced to live music will provide the inspiring finale for the memorable opening.
In addition to performances of Ailey classics, including Alvin Ailey’s signature American masterpiece Revelations, notable ballets from Ailey’s recent seasons will also be presented, including Ronald K. Brown’s landmark and spiritually-charged Grace, Jiří Kylián’s sensual and visually surprising Petite Mort, Garth Fagan’s seminal From Before, Kyle Abraham’s dynamic multi-faceted Another Night, Ohad Naharin’s unique and innovative Minus 16, modern dance master Paul Taylor’s Arden Court and hip-hop choreographer Rennie Harris’ soul-lifting Home.
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater inspires all in a universal celebration of the human spirit using the African-American cultural experience and the American modern dance tradition. Having embarked on an exciting new era in Ailey history, Ailey’s 30 dancers will move audiences in a diverse repertory of premieres, new productions and repertory classics by a variety of choreographers, revealing once again why Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater is one of the world’s most beloved dance companies.
A Detailed performance schedule for the season will be announced prior to September 3rd, when tickets go on sale. Tickets starting at $25 will be available for purchase at the New York City Center Box Office, through CityTix at (212) 581-1212 or online at www.alvinailey.org or www.nycitycenter.org. Discount tickets are available for Ailey Super Fans who purchase tickets for more than one performance, for students with an appropriate ID and for groups of 10 or more (discounts do not apply to $25 tickets).
For group sales, call 212-405-9082 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
For further information about the Alvin Ailey New York City Center season please visit www.alvinailey.org.
Wells Fargo is the sponsor of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s New York Season.
American Express is the Official Card of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theaterand the lead funder of D-Man in the Waters (Part 1).
The company premiere of Chroma is made possible with the generous support of New York City Center.
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater gratefully acknowledges the support of Diageo during the New York City Center Season.
American Airlines is the Official Airline of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.
The 2013-2014 season is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.
For further information, the public may visit www.alvinailey.org