ATLANTA - Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater returned to the Fabulous Fox Theatre to host the opening night of its Atlanta engagement, through Feb. 13. Opening night, which continued the celebration of Revelations at 50 in Atlanta, not only regaled audiences with the brilliant artistry of Ailey dancers, but also included remarks from renowned artistic director, Judith Jamison in her final year, Robert Battle, artistic director designate and WSB’s Jovita Moore. Additionally, the evening included a special presentation from the office of Atlanta Mayor, Kasim Reed.
The iconic ballet, Revelations, has been called a must-see for all and has been seen by more people across the globe than any other modern dance work. In celebration of 50 years of this amazing work, The Company hosted several events leading up to opening night that allowed the Atlanta community to experience the power and emotion of the acclaimed ballet.
“Watching Revelations is truly a soul-stirring experience as the ballet is a visual manifestation of how dance can celebrate the human spirit and impact our hearts and minds,” said Jamison. “It has been a true joy to share the magic of Revelations and the legacy of the Ailey with the Atlanta community.”
Events held in Atlanta to celebrate Revelations began last month when Battle, joined by executives at Diageo and local Ailey advocates, held a viewing at the Kai Lin Art Gallery of a short film onRevelations. This film, which was directed by Judy Kinberg, winner of seven primetime Emmy Awards, will be screened at all performances during that Atlanta engagement and offer audiences a rare glimpse into The Company and its legendary founder’s masterpiece.
In addition to the viewing, and special student performances at the Fox Theatre, Ailey also hosted dance classes at local churches and schools. These classes, which were held at The Ray of Hope Christian Church (Decatur, GA), Ebenezer Baptist Church (Atlanta, GA), Hopewell Baptist Church (Norcross, GA), Ron Clark Academy (Atlanta, GA) and Atherton Elementary School (Decatur, GA), gave participants the opportunity to learn a few classic ballet and Horton techniques displayed inRevelations.
“It has been a privilege to have Ailey dancers teaching across Atlanta, sharing “Revelations” with local students and residents,” said Battle. “I know first hand what an impact this experience can have, particularly on young people, and we are so proud of Ailey’s continuing legacy of inspiring and enriching lives through the art form of dance. ”
Ailey not only shared the gift of dance with Atlanta but also special reflections when Spelman College hosted “A Conversation with Judith Jamison” on Thursday morning. During this question and answer forum, Jamison shared her thoughts and memories from her life as a dancer, choreographer and artistic leader with the faculty and staff of Spelman.
In addition to performing Revelations at each performance, The Atlanta engagement will also include new premiers and repertory favorites. Performances on Saturday, Feb. 12 at 2 p.m. and Sunday, Feb. 13 at 3 p.m. will include debuts of The Hunt, Battle’s explosive tour-de-force for six men; a new production of Cry, Ailey’s birthday gift for his mother and Jamison’s signature solo; and the first full production in more than 30 years of Three Black Kings, an important work resulting from Alvin Ailey’s legendary collaboration with the great Duke Ellington. Programs on Friday, Feb. 11 and Saturday, Feb. 12 at 8 p.m. will also feature the Atlanta premiere of Anointed, former Company Member Christopher L. Huggins tribute to Ailey’s past, present and future and Forgotten Time, Judith Jamison’s quietly uplifting work set to the haunting, otherworldly sounds of Le Mystere des Voix Bulgares.
Friday, Feb. 11 at 8 p.m. (Anointed, Forgotten Time, Revelations film, Revelations)
Saturday, Feb. 12 at 2 p.m. (Three Black Kings, Cry, The Hunt,Revelations film, Revelations)
Saturday, Feb. 12 at 8 p.m. (Anointed, Forgotten Time, Revelations film, Revelations)
Sunday, Feb. 13 at 3 p.m. (Three Black Kings, Cry, The Hunt,Revelations film, Revelations)
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 1958 New York performance that changed American dance. Now led by Judith Jamison, joined by artistic director designate Robert Battle, the Company has performed for an estimated 23 million people in 71 countries on six continents, including two historic residencies in South Africa, celebrating the African-American cultural experience and the American modern dance tradition. The Ailey organization also includes: Ailey II (1974), a second company of young dancers and choreographers; The Ailey School (1969), extensive dance training programs; Ailey Arts in Education & Community Programs, bringing dance into classrooms and communities; and The Ailey Extension, dance and fitness classes for the general public at Ailey’s home – The Joan Weill Center for Dance in New York City—the nation’s largest building for dance.