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Press Contact: Christopher Zunner

W: 212-405-9028 / M: 347-322-8755  




Press Contact: Emily Hawkins

W: 212-405-9083  





Tuesday, May 5, 2009


Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Ailey II & The Ailey School

on World Famous Apollo Stage


50th Anniversary Spring Gala Performance and Party to Benefit Scholarships to

The Ailey School and Ailey Arts In Education Programs Serving New York Students


Toyota Venza Partners with Ailey on the Red Carpet


Event Honoree: Janice Savin Williams & Christopher J. Williams

Honorary Chair Tiki Barber


New York- Led by Artistic Director Judith Jamison, stars of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, the rising young dancers of Ailey II, and gifted students from The Ailey School will perform together on Tuesday, May 5th at 7pm on the world famous Apollo stage, where stars are born and legends are made.  The 50th Anniversary Spring Gala benefit performance at the Apollo Theater, (253 W 125th Street, between 7th & 8th Avenues) will be followed by a gala party, which has become known for its festive dress, décor and dancing.


Ailey’s golden celebration at the Apollo will honor Ailey Board of Trustees member Christopher J. Williams and his wife Janice Savin Williams.  The Honorary Chair is three-time NFL Pro Bowler Tiki Barber, now a correspondent for NBC News’ “Today” and an analyst for NBC’s “Football Night in America.”  Gala co-chairs are: Lynne & Anthony M. Carvette and Catherine Davis.  Benefit vice chairs are Celia & Henry McGee, Elizabeth & Arthur J. Mirante II, and Gabriella Morris.


Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater (AAADT) will perform excerpts from Suite Otis, Tony award-winning choreographer George Faison’s tribute to the music of Otis Redding, and a moving duet from Festa Barocca by Mauro Bigonzetti.   The emerging stars of Ailey II will perform an excerpt from Ailey Alumnui Christopher L. Huggins’s When Dawn Comes… and The Ailey School will showcase their talents in Documotion: One by Francesca Harper.  The performance will culminate with highlights of Alvin Ailey’s timeless masterpiece Revelations performed by members of AAADT, Ailey II and students from The Ailey School. After the performance, the celebration will continue at the gala party, where guests will dine and mingle with the present and future stars of Ailey - and dance the night away in true Ailey style. 


Toyota VENZA joins forces with Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s 50th Anniversary as the Official Vehicle Partner at the red carpet of Ailey At The Apollo! The Toyota VENZA is organically integrated into the Alvin Ailey tour in a way that respectfully pays homage and celebrates Ailey’s extraordinary artistry providing a unique retrospective of the Dance Theater’s development. The art installation entitled ‘Are You VENZA?’ will feature Ailey archival footage coupled with sculptural elements from the African Diaspora that are reflective of the VENZA. The alliance of Toyota and Alvin Ailey will also be featured during the Company’s BAM engagement in Brooklyn (June 9 -14).


Gala proceeds will support The Ailey School’s Scholarship Program, for promising young students who would otherwise be unable to pursue professional training, and Ailey Arts In Education & Community Programs, including AileyCamp in Washington Heights, which annually serve more than 100,000 young people.  Benefit tickets, starting at $250, may be purchased by contacting Suzanne Onasanya at (212) 405.9031.






Toyota VENZA is the Official Vehicle Partner of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater


Wine & Spirits generously provided by Don Julio Tequila



Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater (AAADT), now celebrating its 50th Anniversary and recognized by U.S. Congressional resolution as a vital American “Cultural Ambassador to the World,” was founded in 1958 and has performed for more than 21 million people in 71 countries and on 6 continents. Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation, Inc. is the umbrella organization which includes AAADT; Ailey II, founded in 1974 as a junior performing company of emerging young dancers and innovative choreographers; The Ailey School, founded in 1969 and currently offering some of the most extensive dance training programs in the world; Ailey Arts In Education & Community Programs which is committed to bringing dance into the classrooms, communities and lives of people throughout the world; and The Ailey Extension, a program that offers dance and fitness classes to the general public at Ailey’s permanent home and the largest building dedicated to dance, The Joan Weill Center for Dance, located at 405 West 55th Street (at 9th Avenue), New York, NY.  For more information visit

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