Photos: Paul Kolnik
This week Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s 2022 holiday season comes to a joyous close with seven final performances featuring the season’s riveting premieres, beloved Ailey Classics, and three more chances to see Alvin Ailey’s timeless masterpiece Revelations.
The final week of performances kicks off tonight, Tuesday, December 20 at 7:30pm with returning favorite Aszure Barton’s BUSK along with Jamar Roberts’ In A Sentimental Mood, and MacArthur Genius Kyle Abraham’s Are You in Your Feelings?. Set to a spirited score, BUSK invites us to enjoy the fragility, tenderness, and resilience that exists within the human experience. During Roberts’ In a Sentimental Mood, an intimate scene from the domestic life of a couple becomes an exploration of love and desire. Scored to a “mixtape” of soul, hip-hop, and R&B featuring beloved musical artists such as Jhene Aiko, Erykah Badu, Drake, Lauryn Hill, Kendrick Lamar, Maxwell, Jazmine Sullivan, and Summer Walker, the world premiere of Abraham’s newest work Are You in Your Feelings? is a vibrant celebration of Black culture, Black music, and the youthful spirit that perseveres in us all. [This program repeats on Thursday, December 22 at 7:30pm].
An Ailey Classics program of the timeless favorites The River, Blues Suite, and Revelations will be presented during 2pm matinees on Wednesday, December 21 and Saturday, December 24 at 2pm. The River is one of fourteen ballets Ailey created to Duke Ellington’s music, combining classical ballet, modern dance and jazz in a work that mirrors the journey of life. Blues Suite features a cast of vividly drawn characters from the barrelhouses and fields of Ailey’s southern childhood summoned to dance and revel through one long, sultry night. This program concludes with Ailey’s signature masterpiece Revelations which since its creation in 1960, has consistently enraptured audiences around the world with its perfect blend of revering grace and spiritual elation. More than just a popular dance work, Revelations pays homage to and reflects the cultural heritage of the African American, which Ailey considered one of America’s richest treasures. Wednesday’s matinee includes a free Q&A with the dancers immediately following the performance.
Encore presentations of the All New program on Wednesday, December 21 at 7:30pm and Friday, December 23 at 8pm highlight this season’s premieres and a new production – Roberts’ In a Sentimental Mood, Paul Taylor’s DUET, Alvin Ailey’s Survivors, and Abraham’s Are You in Your Feelings?. Set to the music of Franz Josef Haydn, Taylor’s brief and beautifully shaped DUET portrays a love, perhaps not new, but rather tried and true. The new production of Survivors, Ailey’s impassioned tribute to Nelson and Winnie Mandela, presents a portrait of people transformed by injustice and uplifts who resist oppression in any form.
Ailey’s jubilant holiday season comes to an end on Christmas Eve, Saturday December 24 at 7pm when audiences will be treated to an exhilarating performance ending with Alvin Ailey’s must-see Revelations and featuring some of this season’s new works-In a Sentimental Mood, DUET, and Are You in Your Feelings?.
As live performances come to an end during the height of the holiday season, Ailey is spreading joy to the world by sharing the gift of Holiday Revelations with a free broadcast of the 2022 Opening Night Gala with two-time Emmy-winning TV host, journalist, author, and producer Tamron Hall as the Honorary Chair, from Wednesday, December 21, 2022 – Monday, January 2, 2023. This presentation will feature an excerpt from acclaimed Italian choreographer Mauro Bigonzetti’s Festa Barocca with Constance Stamatiou and talented students from The Ailey School; highlights from Alvin Ailey’s Night Creature, a perennial favorite set to a sparkling score by Duke Ellington; Robert Battle’s tender Unfold danced to Gustave Charpentier’s exquisite aria (“Louise, Act III, Depuis Le Jour”) sung by Brandi Sutton; as well as Mr. Ailey’s beloved Revelations. This vibrant broadcast is viewable from the comfort and joy of your own home via Ailey All Access, YouTube and Facebook, The virtual presentation of this cheerful celebration is part of Ailey All Access – an online initiative featuring a series of performance broadcasts and Ailey Extension dance and fitness classes.
Following the Opening Night Gala broadcast, Ailey All Access welcomes fans to celebrate the birthday of our founder Alvin Ailey with the streaming of a Timeless Ailey Program featuring excerpts of beloved Ailey Classics Blues Suite, Opus McShann, Hidden Rites, Mary Lou’s Mass, and For ‘Bird’ – With Love. This broadcast will be available for one week starting on Thursday, January 5 and available through Wednesday, January 11. Dance lovers can also honor Mr. Ailey’s birthday during Ailey Extension’s Celebrating Alvin Ailey Workshop on Saturday, January 7 with National Director of AileyCamp and former Ailey dancer Nasha Thomas. Available both online and in-studio at the Joan Weill Center for Dance – Ailey’s largest building dedicated to dance – this special workshop helps participants explore Mr. Ailey’s genius as a choreographer and his impact on the dance world and American history while learning movement inspired by his works.
Audience members of all ages and experience levels are encouraged to keep moving with Ailey Extension by taking advantage of the “Ticket to Dance” promotion. “Ticket to Dance” allows all Ailey New York City Center ticketholders to try a free Ailey Extension dance or fitness class of their choice by February 28, 2023. After viewing Ailey’s inspiring artists, fans are also invited to participate in Ailey Extension’s upcoming student performance workshop, which gives students the opportunity to train with esteemed instructors for several weeks before taking the stage to perform in front of friends and family at the Ailey Citigroup Theater. Children ages 5-17 can also join in the dance learning ballet, contemporary and hip-hop techniques with their peers during the Kids & Teens Winter/Spring session which runs from January 8 – May 7.
After finishing this holiday season engagement, Ailey’s talented artists will prepare to embark on a coast-to-coast North American tour from February 3 – May 14, visiting more than 20 cities including Washington DC, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Chicago, Toronto, Berkeley, Dallas, Boston, and Newark.
For more information, visit www.alvinailey.org.
CALENDAR LISTING INFORMATION
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, beloved as one of the world’s most popular dance companies, returns to New York City Center November 30 – December 24, 2022, for a season that has become a joyous winter tradition. Led by Artistic Director Robert Battle, Ailey’s extraordinary dancers move audiences with world and company premieres by Kyle Abraham, Jamar Roberts, Paul Taylor, and Twyla Tharp. In addition to repertory favorites and the must-see American masterpiece Revelations, founder Alvin Ailey’s choreography is spotlighted with a new production of Survivors and the staging of over half a dozen classics, including works from the legendary collaboration with Duke Ellington danced to live music at some performances. Tickets starting at $29 are on sale and can be purchased at the New York City Center Box Office, through CityTix® at (212) 581-1212, or online at www.alvinailey.org or www.nycitycenter.org. For further information, visit www.alvinailey.org.
Tuesday – Thursday evenings 7:30pm
Wednesday matinee (December 21) 2:00pm
Friday & Saturday evenings 8:00pm
Saturday matinees 2:00pm
Sunday matinees 3:00pm
Christmas Eve 7:00pm (note earlier curtain time)
TICKET TO DANCE
Audience members are welcome to join in the dance at Ailey Extension’s real classes for real people with “Ticket to Dance”. New and returning students can redeem their performance ticket stub for a complimentary dance or fitness class either in-studio or virtually. Offer is valid until February 28, 2023.
SPECIAL WORKSHOPS AT AILEY
CELEBRATING ALVIN AILEY WORKSHOP
SATURDAY, JANUARY 7 AT 3PM | The Ailey Studios and Online
Celebrating our founder Alvin Ailey’s birthday with the National Director of AileyCamp and former Ailey dancer Nasha Thomas. Ms. Thomas will guide students through Mr. Ailey’s choreography and movement inspired by his work. This workshop offers dancers an opportunity to explore Mr. Ailey’s genius as a choreographer while learning more about his impact on the dance world and American history.