Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater is the African-American dance company that popularized modern dance around the world.

Few modern dance companies perform at the level of ballet, but Ailey is that good.

The legacy dances of founding choreographer Alvin Ailey capture the bittersweet realities of African-American life in the time of enslavement, under Jim Crow and today still. The company also commissions new work, mostly choreographed by artists of color.

You cannot perform at this level with bitterness. There is a famous 1930s Cuban bolero Lágrimas Negras (Black tears). It’s not about race, it’s about the end of love. The singer says that although you abandoned me and killed all my illusions, instead of cursing you with a just rage, in my dreams I fill you with blessings.

Like the singer in the song, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater takes all the joys and sorrows of life and puts them on stage filled with blessings. You cannot, not be touched by an Ailey performance.

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater Revealed

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater is at New York City Center in Midtown, NYC, Tuesday-Sunday, December 4, 2019 – January 5, 2020.

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This season offers three world premieres that capture the zeitgeist. Donald Byrd’s Greenwood is about a white mob that destroyed the affluent black neighborhood in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1921.

Darrel Grand Moultrie’s Ounce of Faith is about how a teacher can change a young person’s life forever.

Jamar Roberts’ Ode considers the fragile beauty of life in this era of endless, senseless gun violence.

There are company premieres of work by Aszure Barton and Camille A. Brown. A new production of Judith Jamison’s Divining takes us to mystical Africa.

Lar Lubovitch’s Fandango riffs on Ravel’s Bolero to explore the infinite possibilities of partnering (which is a bit like dating in New York City).

Ailey always performs Alvin’s signature work Revelations, and it is always a revelation to watch.

The Wednesday, December 4 Opening Night Gala and December 6-7 performances are to live music.

The Ailey School celebrates its 50th Anniversary on Tuesday, December 10 at 7:30pm.

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