Alvin Ailey Gala Kicks Off New Season

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Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater's Rachael McLaren. Photo by Andrew Eccles

On December 2nd, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater will kick off a five-week holiday season with a star-studded gala benefit including a performance at New York City Center and party at the New York Hilton Midtown Grand Ballroom.

Celebrated motion picture star Chadwick Boseman will serve as the evening’s honorary chair. Mr. Boseman is best known for portraying the legendary Jackie Robinson in 42 and James Brown in Get on Up. He is set to blaze trails playing Marvel superhero Black Panther in the films Captain America: Civil War, scheduled for release in 2016, and Black Panther, scheduled for 2018.

This year’s gala will honor BNY Mellon for its major support of The Ailey Organization since 2007 and Agnes & Gerald Hassell will accept on the institution’s behalf. Early confirmed celebrity guests include Tituss Burgess, Savion Glover, Lance Gross, Tamron Hall, Judith Jamison, Janet Mock, Joe Morton, Naturi Naughton, Arturo O'Farrill, Phylicia Rashad, Kelly Rowland and Tika Sumpter.

The evening begins with the World Premiere of Open Door by Ronald K. Brown. In his sixth work for the Company, Brown adds new flavor to his signature style, setting this work to recordings by Arturo O’Farrill & the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra. Next on the program will be Caught, David Parsons’ signature gravity-defying work in which a male soloist flies through the air in a breathtaking display of athletic stamina. Alvin Ailey’s beloved Revelations will rock the crowd in a rousing finale to live music with singers that include the incomparable Ella Mitchell. Prominent figures in the worlds of entertainment, business, philanthropy and politics will join Artistic Director Robert Battle and dancers for a dinner-dance in the New York Hilton Midtown’s Grand Ballroom following the gala performance.

The event’s Co-Chairs are Simin Allison, Kathryn & Kenneth Chenault, Debra L. Lee, Doris & Gilbert Meister, Daria L. & Eric J. Wallach and Joan & Sandy Weill. Call 212-405-9031 for tickets to the benefit which supports the creation of new works and Ailey’s extensive educational programs, including scholarships for the performing artists of the future.

Tickets for the full season running December 2nd through January 3rd, starting at $25, are now on sale. Visit,,call CityTix (212-581-1212), or the New York City Center box office.

Wells Fargo is the sponsor of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s New York Winter Season. American Express is the Official Card of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater gratefully acknowledges the support of Diageo during the New York Winter Season.

Opening Night Gala Benefit Sponsors: Simin Allison, American Express, BET Networks, BNY Mellon, Daria L. & Eric J. Wallach, Joan & Sandy Weill and The Weill Family Foundation American Airlines is the Official Airline of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s New York Winter Season. The 2015-2016 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.

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