Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater Announces Two-Week Lincoln Center Engagement
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
[Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater's Rachael McLaren. Photo by Andrew Eccles]
ALVIN AILEY AMERICAN DANCE THEATER RETURNS TO LINCOLN CENTER’S DAVID H. KOCH THEATER WITH FOUR PROGRAMS DURING A TWO-WEEK
15-PERFORMANCE ENGAGEMENT FROM JUNE 11 to 22, 2014
Artistic Director Robert Battle Announces Diverse Repertory Featuring World Premiere by Robert Moses, Company Premiere of Asadata Dafora’s Awassa Astrige/Ostrich,
New Productions of Hans Van Manen’s Polish Pieces and David Parson’s Caught
Plus Encore Performances of 2013 – 2014 Season Premieres and Repertory Favorites
Tickets starting at $25 go on sale April 9, 2014.
New York – April 2, 2014 – Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, beloved as one of the world’s most popular dance companies, will return to Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts with four different programs for a two-week 15-performance engagement at the David H. Koch Theater June 11 – 22, 2014. Today, Artistic Director Robert Battle announced repertory for the season, highlighted by a world premiere from Robert Moses – a first-time collaboration with the Company – new productions of Hans van Manen’s Polish Pieces and David Parsons’ signature work Caught, along with the company premiere of Asadata Dafora’s groundbreaking 1932 solo Awassa Astrige/Ostrich. Ailey’s acclaimed dancers will perform in diverse repertory including encore performances of 2013-14 season premieres and new productions such as Wayne McGregor’s Chroma and an “Ailey/Ellington” program, as well as favorites like Alvin Ailey’s American masterpiece Revelations.
In 2013, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s seven-performance engagement at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts was the Company’s first appearance there in 13 years. “To culminate the 25th season since the passing of our legendary founder, it gives me great pride to lead the Company back to Lincoln Center for an extended two-week engagement with four programs that showcase the range and artistry of Ailey’s unparalleled dancers,” said Artistic Director Robert Battle. “Alvin Ailey was a pioneer in creating an American modern dance repertory company and I’m thrilled to extend his vision through an expansive variety of new and acclaimed works by the widest array of choreographers. It is also wonderful that the Ailey Spirit Gala will kick-off the engagement with a joyous and very meaningful celebration.”
The 2014 engagement opens on Wednesday, June 11th at 7pm with the inaugural Ailey Spirit Gala benefit honoring Ailey Board of Trustees Chair Joan H. Weill for her exceptional leadership and dedication to Ailey over the past 20 years. Sanford I. Weill and Vanessa Williams are Honorary Chairs for the benefit, sponsored by FedEx Corporation, that will provide scholarships for talented students of The Ailey School and supports Ailey’s extensive Arts In Education & Community Programs. Highlights of the opening performance celebration include the world-renowned Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in Caught and Revelations and appearances by the rising stars of Ailey II, gifted young dancers from The Ailey School, and talented students from AileyCamp. A soirée on the promenade follows the performance and tickets are available by calling 212-405-9031.
Robert Moses’ world premiere on Thursday, June 12th at 7:30pm is being created especially for the Company’s Koch Theater engagement and marks his first collaboration with Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. Known for sexy, sophisticated choreography that makes audiences want to dance too, he has choreographed for film, theater and opera, exploring topics ranging from oral African-American traditions, urban culture and the nuanced complexities of parentage and identity.
This program (also scheduled for 6/14 eve, 6/18 eve, & 6/22 matinee) includes an encore performance of Chroma, a 2013 company premiere filled with layered, beautiful dancing and astonishing lifts by multi award-winning British choreographer Wayne McGregor. Created in 2006 for The Royal Ballet, the piece has a driving score by Joby Talbot and orchestrations of music by Jack White III of The White Stripes and a luminous set by minimalist architect John Pawson. The performance will end with Alvin Ailey’s always inspiring must-see American classic Revelations.
The Friday, June 13th 8pm performance marks the company premiere of Awassa Astrige/Ostrich by Sierra Leone-born choreographer Asadata Dafora, who blended his vision of a traditional African dance with Western staging in this groundbreaking 1932 solo set to Carl Riley’s score of African drumming and flute. With arms flapping like wings, torso rippling and head held high, a warrior is transformed into the proud, powerful ostrich — the king of birds. Dafora is recognized as one of the first to present African dance on the concert stage, influencing many future artists like Pearl Primus and Katherine Dunham.
Along with Awassa Astrige/Ostrich, this program (repeated on 6/15 eve & 6/21 eve) will include Ronald K. Brown’s landmark and spiritually-charged Grace, Ohad Naharin’s unique and innovative Minus 16 and D-Man in the Waters (Part I), Bill T. Jones’ “Bessie” Award-winning modern dance classic celebrating life and the resiliency of the human spirit that embodies loss, hope and triumph with non-stop movement set to Mendelssohn’s Octet for Strings in E-flat Major, Op. 20 (1825).
The Ailey/Ellington program (6/14 matinee, 6/15 matinee, 6/20 eve) showcases Night Creature, Pas de Duke, and The River, three of the 14 ballets founder Alvin Ailey created during his career celebrating the musical genius of the eminent American composer Duke Ellington, along with Revelations. The River, originally choreographed in 1970 for American Ballet Theatre to Ellington’s first symphonic score written specifically for dance, combines classical ballet, modern dance, and jazz in sections suggesting tumbling rapids and slow currents on a voyage to the great sea, mirroring the journey of life. Pas de Duke, commemorates America’s two great art forms – modern dance and jazz music – in Alvin Ailey’s translation of a classical pas de deux created for the renowned Judith Jamison and Mikhail Baryshnikov. It was originally presented in 1976 as part of the “Ailey Celebrates Ellington” festival at Lincoln Center’s New York State Theater for the nation’s bicentennial.
The engagement’s second week of performances begins on Tuesday, June 17th at 7:30pm with new productions of Hans van Manen’s Polish Pieces and David Parson’s Caught. In Polish Pieces, Dutch choreographer van Manen displays his mastery for building dazzling creations from simple motifs and geometric patterns. Driven by the rhythms of Henryk Górecki’s score, the 12 dancers in this colorful ensemble work create a brilliant kaleidoscope through endlessly shifting formations that culminate in two sensual pas de deux. The dancer in Parsons’ signature work Caught defies gravity as he flies through the air in a bravura display of athletic stamina and a breathtaking fusion of art and technology using split-second timing. Flashing lights capture the dancer in more than 100 leaps, suspending him in flight before magically returning to rest at center stage.
Also repeated on 6/19 eve, 6/21 mat., 6/22 eve, this program ends with Revelations and begins with LIFT, a 2013-14 season world premiere by in-demand choreographer Aszure Barton celebrating and challenging the cast of 19 dancers who inspired the process, movement and composition, as well as the original percussive score by Curtis Macdonald.
Tickets starting at $25 can be purchased beginning April 9th at the David H. Koch Box Office, by phone at 212-496-0600, and online at www.alvinailey.org. For further information about Ailey’s performances and discounts for groups and students, please visit www.alvinailey.org. On Saturday afternoons, bring the whole family to enjoy the matinee and stay afterward for a free Q & A with the Ailey dancers in the theater. Detailed schedule below.
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater is currently on a 23-city coast-to-coast tour that ends in the tri-state area on Mother’s Day weekend from May 10th and 11th at the beautiful Prudential Hall of the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark, where Ailey is the Principal Resident Affiliate. For schedule and tickets, visit www.njpac.org.
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater gratefully acknowledges the support of Diageo
The 2013-2014 season is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.
The Ailey Spirit Gala is sponsored by FedEx Corporation.