NEW YORK — Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, recognized by U.S. Congress as a vital American “Cultural Ambassador to the World,” will inspire, enlighten and entertain from February through May in 24 North American cities, continuing the celebration of the 50 years of Alvin Ailey’s Revelations. The tour will kick off on February 1st at Washington, D.C.’s Kennedy Center, and will continue through May 22nd with visits to Atlanta, GA; Miami, FL; Berkeley, CA; Los Angeles, CA; Philadelphia, PA; Chicago, IL; St. Louis, MO; Newark, NJ; Vancouver & Victoria, Canada and other cities (full touring schedule on page 5).
Led by the renowned Judith Jamison in her final year as Artistic Director, and joined by Artistic Director Designate Robert Battle, the tour will celebrate five decades of Revelations, an American classic called a must-see for all people. A short film will be shown prior to Revelations at every performance, giving audiences the opportunity to learn about the inspiration, meaning and significance of this modern dance masterpiece that is a tribute to Alvin Ailey’s genius and the African American heritage. Directed by Judy Kinberg, winner of seven primetime Emmy Awards, it includes historic performance footage and rare interviews with Alvin Ailey and Judith Jamison.
“We are thrilled to share this exciting time in Ailey’s history,” said Jamison. “We’re on a journey that began 52 years ago because of Alvin Ailey’s groundbreaking vision. HisRevelations is a profound manifestation of how dance can celebrate the human spirit and impact our hearts and minds. During this memorable season, as we welcome Artistic Director Designate Robert Battle, join my incredible dancers who are shining their light brightly as we begin another five decades of inspiring performances.“
Ailey’s extraordinary artists will move audiences with their brilliant artistry and passionate spirit in exciting premieres, dramatic new productions, revered classics, and repertory favorites. Among the tour’s premieres, is the brand new ballet Anointed, Christopher L. Huggins’ tribute to Ailey’s past, present and future featuring the music of Moby and Sean Clements. The Company will also debut The Hunt, Robert Battle’s explosive tour-de-force for six men, and The Evolution Of A Secured Feminine, Camille A. Brown’s witty exploration of the notions of femininity. Ailey’s performances mark the first time anyone other than Ms. Brown has performed the solo.
Other tour highlights include new productions of significant works from the Ailey repertory including: Forgotten Time, Judith Jamison’s quietly uplifting work set to the haunting, otherworldly sounds of Le Mystere des Voix Bulgares; The Prodigal Prince, a colorful and lavish depiction of real and imagined events in the life of the renowned Haitian painter Hector Hyppolite that was choreographed, composed and designed by Geoffrey Holder; Three Black Kings, an important work resulting from Alvin Ailey’s legendary collaboration with the great Duke Ellington which brings to life Balthazar, the Black king of the Nativity; Solomon, King of Israel; and Martin Luther King, Jr; and Cry, Ailey’s 1971 birthday gift for his mother, created on his muse Judith Jamison, and taught by her to subsequent generations of Ailey women.
Over the last two decades Jamison, who was honored by First Lady Michelle Obama at the first White House Dance Series: A Tribute to Judith Jamison, has led Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater to new heights around the world and into a permanent home – the nation’s largest building dedicated to dance. Named to TIME’s 2009 list of the world’s 100 most influential people, she is the recipient of the Kennedy Center Honors, the BET Honors, and the National Medal of Arts. Jamison will pass the mantle of leadership to Robert Battle on July 1, 2011. Acclaimed by the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in 2005 as one of the “Masters of African-American Choreography,” Battle is a fast-rising choreographer who has created 11 ballets for the Ailey organization since 1999. Mr. Battle, 38, will be the third person to head the company since its founding by Alvin Ailey in 1958.
“Working with Ms. Jamison and Ailey’s amazing dancers this season, and touring the world with the Company, has been truly amazing and humbling,” said Battle. “It is a privilege to share the gift of Ailey with Atlanta and to continue delivering on the promise of keeping The Company fresh, exciting and soul-stirring.”
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. Share in the incomparable sense of joy, freedom, and spirit that bring audiences around the globe to their feet night after night – you don’t just see an Ailey performance, you feel it!