Alvin Ailey’s Dance Theater Presents “Shelter” Ballet about Homelessness

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[Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater]
With free Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater performance broadcasts, Ailey Extension dance and fitness classes, original short films and more, the online initiative has reached over 26 million people in 121 countries.
Photo: Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater

The Ailey dance organization continues to keep the Ailey spirit alive in the hearts of the community by dancing digitally into homes through Ailey All Access.

With free Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater performance broadcasts, Ailey Extension dance and fitness classes, original short films and more, the online initiative has reached over 26 million people in 121 countries.

Performance Broadcasts

Premiering every Thursday at 7 pm EDT, and available online for one week, fans are invited to virtually connect with full-length Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater performances. Jawole Willa Jo Zollar’s powerful ballet Shelter, a passionate statement about the physical and emotional deprivation of homeless people, will make its streaming premiere on August 20. Set to an inventive score which incorporates drumming by Junior “Gabu” Wedderburn and poetry by Hattie Gossett and Laurie Carlos, the work includes a new ending with revised text highlighting recent hurricanes and how our shelter can be threatened by climate change. As highlighted in The New York Times, "The decades-old Shelter may be the work that speaks most strongly to the anxieties of the moment." In addition to the broadcast, viewers will be invited to watch a discussion with Jawole Willa Jo Zollar and Associate Artistic Director Matthew Rushing to learn more about the creative process behind Shelter as well as a behind-the-scenes video entitled “Dance as a Metaphorical Shelter.”

Starting on August 27, the performance series will feature Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in Artistic Director Robert Battle’s No Longer Silent, a large ensemble work with powerful phrases that stir the imagination with images of flight and fatigue, chaos and unity, and collectivity and individualism as dancers travel in military rows. Originally created in 2007 as part of a concert of choreography that brought to life long-forgotten scores by composers whose work the Nazis had banned, No Longer Silent is set to the percussive “Ogelala” by Erwin Schulhoff, who died in a concentration camp in 1942.

Ailey Extension Dance and Fitness Classes

Ailey Extension’s weekly Beginner Salsa class with Baila Society is moving to Saturdays at 3pm EDT, making the class more easily accessible to dancers around the world. Perfect for partners looking for an exciting bonding activity as well as individuals who would like to work on their technique, the weekend afternoon class lets dancers practice moving comfortably and confidently to Latin rhythms and transitioning into fundamental salsa footwork. For more information about Ailey Extension’s robust selection of more than 30 live and on-demand virtual classes and workshops - which include Horton, ballet, hip hop, vogue, samba, West African, and more styles taught by Ailey Extension's elite instructors - please visit aileyextension.com/keepdancing.

Still, We Dance Campaign

Every contribution to the Still, We Dance campaign makes it possible for the Ailey organization to move forward during unprecedented times, while making it possible for Ailey to offer a variety of programming through Ailey All Access and prepare for the upcoming 2020-21 season paying tribute to six decades of Revelations.

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

Bank of America is Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s National Tour Sponsor. The 2020 National Tour is supported, in part, by the National Endowment for the Arts.

About 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 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 New York City Center, where its performances have become a year‐end tradition, the Ailey company performs annually at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC, the Auditorium Theatre in Chicago, the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami‐Dade County in Miami, 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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