Alvin Ailey Announces NYC Center Season Performance Schedule
DEC 4, 2013 - JAN 5, 2014
ALVIN AILEY AMERICAN DANCE THEATER ANNOUNCES NEW YORK CITY CENTER SEASON PERFORMANCE SCHEDULE: DECEMBER 4, 2013 – JANUARY 5, 2014
Artistic Director Robert Battle Continues to Expand Company’s Diverse Repertory with Premieres and New Productions Representing a Wide Range of Choreographic Voices
Exhilarating World Premiere LIFT by In-Demand Choreographer Aszure Barton and Performances of Acclaimed Season Premiere
Four Corners by Celebrated Dance Maker Ronald K. Brown
Company Premiere of Chroma Marks First Time a Work by the Multi Award-Winning British Choreographer Wayne McGregor Appears in Repertory and Modern Dance Innovator Bill T. Jones’ Joyful Tour-De-Force D-Man in the Waters (Part I) Celebrates the Resilience of the Human Spirit
Five-Week Holiday Season Features New Productions of Alvin Ailey’s The River and Pas de Duke Set to Music by Duke Ellington and a
Celebration of Guest Artist Matthew Rushing’s 20 Years with Ailey
NEW YORK – August 29, 2013 — Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, beloved as one of the world’s most popular dance companies and New York City Center’s Principal Dance Company, returns to the New York City Center stage for the 42nd consecutive year from December 4, 2013 – January 5, 2014 with exciting performances that have become a joyous holiday tradition.
Artistic Director Robert Battle continues to expand the Company’s diverse repertory with premieres and new productions representing a wide range of important choreographic voices giving Ailey’s extraordinary group of artists new ways to inspire audiences.
In-demand choreographer Aszure Barton’s world premiere LIFT is an exhilarating exchange with Ailey’s renowned dancers, who inspired the process, movement, and composition, as well as the original percussive score by musical partner Curtis Macdonald. With a collaborative stylistic approach that is constantly evolving like no other, Barton’s exhilarating new work celebrates and challenges the cast of 19 dancers with its markedly intricate rhythmic patterns and mercurial structure. Barton’s distinctive and award-winning choreographic achievements are gaining wide recognition and have been presented by a diverse group of notable national and international dance companies.
Wayne McGregor’s Chroma is a ballet filled with layered, beautiful dancing and astonishing lifts. The Ailey company premiere, made possible in part by the generous support of New York City Center, marks the first time a work by this multi award-winning British choreographer will appear in the Ailey repertory. Set to an amalgam of original music by Joby Talbot and orchestrations of music by Jack White III of The White Stripes, the work explores McGregor’s curiosity of a concept freed from whiteness and the drama of the human body. Created in 2006 for The Royal Ballet, a luminous, minimalist set designed by architect John Pawson uses motifs of inside and outside, entrance and exit, light and shadow, void and plenitude, to create a spatially charged environment explored through the medium of the ten dancers’ bodies.
Modern dance innovator Bill T. Jones’s Man in the Waters (Part I) is a true modern dance classic and a New York Dance and Performance (“Bessie”) Award-winning work. Set to Mendelssohn’s Octet for Strings in E-flat Major, Op. 20 (1825), it is a celebration of life and the resilience of the human spirit that embodies loss, hope and triumph. The addition of this joyful tour-de-force to Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s repertory comes 30 years after Alvin Ailey originally invited Bill T. Jones to create Fever Swamp for the Company.
Ailey’s dancers have become known as inspiring interpreters of the dance storytelling of celebrated choreographer Ronald K. Brown. Four Corners, set to the music of Carl Hancock Rux and various artists, recently had its acclaimed world premiere in June during Ailey’s historic engagement at Lincoln Center’s David H. Koch Theater. Using Brown’s signature blend of modern dance and West African idioms, the work’s 11 dancers bring to life the vision of four angels standing on the four corners of the earth holding the four winds.
Associate Artistic Director Masazumi Chaya restaged new productions of The River and Pas de Duke two of the 14 ballets founder Alvin Ailey created during his career that celebrate the musical genius of the eminent American composer Duke Ellington.
Originally choreographed in 1970 for American Ballet Theatre and first performed by Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in 1980, The River features Ellington’s first symphonic score written specifically for dance. A legendary collaboration between two great American artists, the suite 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 human existence.
Pas de Duke was Alvin Ailey’s modern dance translation of a classical pas de deux honoring two of the most renowned dancers in the world, Judith Jamison and Mikhail Baryshnikov. It was first presented as part of the “Ailey Celebrates Ellington” festival at Lincoln Center’s New York State Theater in 1976, commemorating the nation’s bicentennial with America’s two great art forms modern dance and jazz music. Last staged for Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater during the 2006-2007 season, it captures the star dancers’ technique, personality, and virtuosity as the male and female soloists go toe-to-toe and line-for-line in a bravura and playful competition.
A special program on Tuesday, December 17th celebrating renowned Guest Artist Matthew Rushing, who has been inspiring Ailey audiences for over two decades, will include excerpts of Pas de Duke and Home, as well as A Song for You, Grace, and Revelations in their entirety. Appointed Rehearsal Director and Guest Artist by Robert Battle in 2011, Rushing was a former student of The Ailey School and member of Ailey II before joining Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in 1992. He is acclaimed as one of the great male artists on the American concert dance stage.
“It is exciting to pair the amazing artistry of the Ailey dancers with important choreographic voices to expand the repertory further and give our audiences in New York and around the world a cornucopia of treasures to enjoy. It gives me great pleasure to provide a platform to share new and acclaimed works by a variety of dance makers from Aszure Barton, Ronald K. Brown, and Bill T. Jones to Wayne McGregor, Ohad Naharin, and Jií Kylián,” stated Artistic Director Robert Battle. “Along with performances of repertory favorites, new productions from our founder Alvin Ailey’s legendary collaboration with Duke Ellington, and the opportunity to pay tribute to the incomparable Matthew Rushing – a quintessential Ailey dancer and artist there will be much to see and celebrate during Ailey’s five-week holiday season at New York City Center.”
The December 4th Opening Night Gala Benefit performance and party launches the season with a fundraiser supporting the creation of new works and Ailey’s extensive educational and training programs for young people. Following the exciting company premiere of Chroma, Revelations danced to live music will provide the finale for the memorable opening performance.
Family Matinee Series performances presented each Saturday during the season at 2pm are followed by a question-and-answer session with Ailey’s much-admired dancers. The final week of the 39-performance engagement begins with a special New Year’s Eve program and ends with a season finale on January 5th celebrating Alvin Ailey’s birthday. A detailed performance schedule is attached (subject to change).
In addition to the season, Mr. Battle has also curated the third year of the New Directions Choreography Lab, a major program launched in 2011 to serve the entire field of dance. Assisting choreographers in developing their craft, the program will again grant resident fellowships to four emerging and mid-career artists, offering a stipend, the use of gifted dancers from The Ailey School, creative mentorships, and rehearsal time at The Joan Weill Center for Dance. Unlike other programs that require the production and presentation of a final performance or commission, Ailey’s lab enables choreographers to focus solely on the process of choreography as a creative experience, free from all restricting expectations or deadlines. This year, choreography fellowships have been awarded to Norbert de la Cruz, Sonia Dawkins, Nia Love, and Manuel Vignoulle with creative mentorship from Igal Perry, Gus Solomons, Jr., Sylvia Waters, and Marya Warshaw.
Beginning September 3rd, tickets starting at 5 will be available for purchase at the New York City Center Box Office, through CityTix® at (212) 581-1212, or online at www.alvinailey.org or www.nycitycenter.org. Discount tickets are available for Ailey Super Fans who purchase tickets for more than one performance, for students with an appropriate ID, and for groups of ten or more (discounts do not apply to 5 tickets). For group sales, call 212-405-9082 or e-mail email@example.com. For further information about Ailey’s New York City Center season please visit www.alvinailey.org.
The 2013-2014 Season Program: Highlights
Artistic Director Robert Battle continues to add dynamic new choreographic voices to expand Ailey’s diverse repertory and provide Ailey’s extraordinary dancers with new ways to inspire. The premieres and new productions provide a platform for a daring dance collaborator, a celebrated choreographer whose dance storytelling is inspiringly interpreted by the Ailey dancers, and exposes Ailey audiences and dancers to a multi award-winning international choreographer whose work is being performed by Ailey for the first time. The new season also presents a signature work by an American dance innovator and new productions of cherished works from the founder’s celebration of the legendary musical genius Duke Ellington.
2013-2014 Season World Premieres
Choreography by Aszure Barton Original Music by Curtis Macdonald
This propulsive world premiere by in-demand choreographer Aszure Barton, her first commission for Ailey, accentuates the vitality and physical prowess of the Ailey company. Driven by the dancers’ passion, skill and collective power, LIFT was created over a 5-week developmental process with the entire Company. The original percussive score, composed by Curtis Macdonald, is infused with the infectious energy and heart that she observed in her initial encounters with the Ailey dancers. With a collaborative stylistic approach that is constantly evolving like no other, Barton’s exhilarating new work celebrates and challenges the dancers with its markedly intricate rhythmic patterns and mercurial structure. “LIFT embodies an atmosphere and energy created by our time spent together in collaboration,” stated Barton. “I feel very welcomed by the Ailey family and am honored to be working with such a wonderful group of artists.” Dance Magazine described her work as “vulnerable and feisty, brightly adept yet peculiar, witty and impetuously wild.” Born and raised in Alberta, Canada, Barton received her formal training at the National Ballet School in Toronto. Barton has created works for Mikhail Baryshnikov, The National Ballet of Canada, Nederlands Dans Theater, American Ballet Theatre, the Martha Graham Dance Company, Sydney Dance Company, and Les Ballet Jazz de Montréal (Resident Choreographer 2005-08), and also choreographed the Broadway revival production of The Threepenny Opera. She recently received the Banff Centre’s 2012 Koerner Award for Choreography and Canada’s prestigious Arts and Letters Award for her outstanding choreographic achievements. Robert Battle comments: “I’ve known Aszure for many years and have watched her develop a unique voice, with bold choices in her choreography and in her approach. Her work is physically demanding, detail oriented, visceral, and both abstract and dramatic – a great fit for the Company. I was interested in the dancers having a process that was really motivated by their artistry. And, after spending time with the dancers on tour, Aszure used the inspiration of seeing and experiencing them in many different settings as the impetus for the entire work, including the score by her collaborator Curtis Macdonald. “
Four Corners (2013)
Choreography by Ronald K Brown Music: Carl Hancock Rux, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, and Yacoub
Ailey’s extraordinary dancers have become known as inspiring interpreters of the unique dance storytelling of celebrated choreographer Ronald K. Brown. Brown’s Four Corners, set to the music of Carl Hancock Rux and various artists, brings to life the vision of four angels standing on the four corners of the earth holding the four winds. Drawing inspiration from the lyrics of Rux’s “Lamentations,” Four Corners follows eleven dancers as they rise to seek a life of peace on the “mountaintop” a powerful and hope-filled journey of tribulation, devotion and triumph. Ronald K. Brown is renowned for his signature blend of modern dance and West African idioms in works that often stimulate deeper examinations of issues of spirituality, community responsibility, and liberation. This is Brown’s first collaboration with the critically-acclaimed Carl Hancock Rux, but his fifth work set on Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, including the landmark work Grace. Robert Battle comments: “Four Corners is a continuation of the amazing work Ronald K. Brown has created on the Ailey dancers, starting with Grace in 1999. His connectedness to the dancers elevates the studio as a sacred space – a feeling that is reflected in the spiritual depth of his work. Near the end of the piece, all the disparate parts fascinatingly come together and all of a sudden everything makes beautiful sense. Seeing Ronald K. Brown’s matchless dance storytelling come to life through the Ailey dancers is a combination that is always expressive, inspiring, and magical.
2013-14 Season Company Premieres
Choreography by Wayne McGregor Music by Joby Talbot and The White Stripes
Wayne McGregor CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) is a multi award-winning British choreographer, renowned for his physically testing choreography and ground-breaking collaborations. He is the Artistic Director of Wayne McGregor | Random Dance, Resident Company at Sadler's Wells Theatre in London, Resident Choreographer of The Royal Ballet (appointed 2006) and frequent creator of new work for La Scala, Milan, Paris Opera Ballet, Nederlands
Dans Theatre, Stuttgart Ballet and New York City Ballet; as well as movement director for theatre, film (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire) and music video (Radiohead's Lotus Flower). His recent productions include new work for the Royal Ballet and National Gallery Titan Metamorphosis project (July 2012), a large-scale public dance work, Big Dance Trafalgar Square, in celebration of the London 2012 Olympics (July 2012), and a new work for San Francisco Ballet, Borderlands, which premiered in January 2013. Robert Battle comments: “Planning works for the season is not an isolated event, but an ongoing process of developing the repertory and engaging the dancers. I’m also thinking of the audience having a unique and unexpected experience. With the commission of the remarkable Chroma, all of this though process is in play. I also still see so much of a connection to modern dance – use of torso, weight, and isolation. In speaking to Wayne McGregor, we were both interested in seeing how the Ailey dancers would interpret his work. Another one of the things that I love about mounting this ballet is that, because of the demands of the dynamic choreography and the striking set, it involves a team effort from the dancers and crew to everyone at Ailey.’
D-Man In The Waters (Part I) (1989, revised 1998)
Choreography by Bill T. Jones Music by Felix Mendelssohn
Bill T. Jones’ joyful tour-de-force, D-Man in the Waters is a true modern dance classic and a New York Dance and Performance (“Bessie”) Award-winning work. It is a celebration of life and the resiliency of the human spirit that embodies loss, hope and triumph. Set to Mendelssohn’s Octet for Strings in E-flat Major, Op. 20 (1825), the work is one of the finest examples of the post-modern aesthetic and was featured in PBS’s landmark film Dancing in the Light: Six Dances by African-American Choreographers. D-Man in the Waters is dedicated to Demian Acquavella. Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater first performed choreography by Bill T. Jones in 1983 when Alvin Ailey invited him to create Fever Swamp on the Company. Jones choreographed and performed worldwide with his late partner, Arnie Zane, before forming the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company in 1982, for which he has created more than 140 works. Bill T. Jones is the recipient of numerous recognitions, including the Kennedy Center Honors; Tony Award (FELA! and Spring Awakening); Obie Award; the 2010 Jacob’s Pillow Dance Award; the 2005 Wexner Prize; the 2005 Samuel H. Scripps American Dance Festival Award for Lifetime Achievement; the 2003 Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize; and the 1994 MacArthur “Genius” Award. In 2011, Jones was named Executive Artistic Director of New York Lives Arts. Robert Battle comments: “Early in Bill T. Jones’ career, Alvin Ailey took a strong interest in him and encouraged his work. I imagine he saw his singular voice. As Judith Jamison has said, Bill wasn’t afraid to speak his own language. I think of Bill as a very courageous artist and that courage informs his work. Inspired by one of his dancers who died of AIDS, Demian Acquavella, D-Man In The Waters (Part I) was created in 1989, the year that Alvin Ailey and so many others were dying from the disease. What’s interesting is that the work is really about joy and a celebration of life – an acknowledgment of death but filled with a sense of transcendence.”
2013-14 Season New Productions
The River (1970) Choreography: Alvin Ailey Original Score: Duke Ellington
The River is Alvin Ailey’s acclaimed collaboration with the late musical genius Duke Ellington, choreographed and composed in 1970 for American Ballet Theatre and first performed by Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in 1980. One of 14 dances Ailey created to Ellington’s music, The River was Ellington’s first symphonic score written specifically for dance. Combining classical ballet, modern dance and jazz, the suite suggests tumbling rapids and slow currents on its voyage to the great sea, mirroring the journey of life. The River has been restaged by Associate Artistic Director Masazumi Chaya for several companies in addition to Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. With Ailey’s mixture of light and fun yet dark and romantic choreography balanced with Ellington’s score, the work is an abstract celebration of birth, life, and rebirth. Robert Battle comments: “Originally created for American Ballet Theatre, The River is from Alvin Ailey’s unforgettable collaboration with the great American composter Duke Ellington. It shows his range as a choreographer, and certainly the versatility of the dancers. Mr. Ailey always seemed to have a passport through all the different genres of dance while still retaining his essence.”
Pas de Duke (1976) Choreography: Alvin Ailey Music: Duke Ellington
Pas de Duke was Alvin Ailey’s modern dance translation of a classical pas de deux honoring two of the most renowned dancers in the world, Judith Jamison and Mikhail Baryshnikov and celebrating the musical genius of the late Duke Ellington (1899-1974). Last staged for Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater during the 2006-2007 season, it was originally presented as part of the festival “Ailey Celebrates Ellington” at Lincoln Center’s New York State Theater in 1976, commemorating the nation’s bicentennial with America’s two great art forms - modern dance and jazz music. Ailey choreographed five sections capturing the sassy sophistication of “The Duke’s” jazz music: the introduction to “Such Sweet Thunder” (1957); the pas de deux to “Sonnet for Ceasar” (1975); the male solo to “Sonnet for Hank Cinq” (1957); the female solo to “Unclothed Woman” (1948); and the finale to “Old Man’s Blues” (1930), which captured the exuberance of the star dancers’ qualities and techniques as the male and female soloists mirror each other toe-to-toe and line-for-line in this playful, good-natured competition. Robert Battle comments: “Created especially for Judith Jamison and Mikhail Baryshnikov – reigning stars at the time from parallel worlds of dance – Pas de Duke springs from Alvin Ailey’s interest in many things when it came to dance and music, as well as his appreciation and ability to showcase great dancers. He took the ballet pas de deux formula and had a play with it, still using some of the balletic motifs but adding in elements of jazz and other forms of contemporary dance.”
OTHER Season Highlights & SPECIAL PROGRAMS
Opening Night Gala Benefit (Dec. 4 @ 7pm)
A one-night-only performance and gala party on December 4th with Honorary Chair Quincy Jones will support the creation of new works and Ailey’s education programs for children and young people, including AileyCamp, scholarships to The Ailey School, and public school residencies across the United States. Following the exciting company premiere performance of Chroma, Revelations danced to live music provides the finale for the memorable opening. Gala Co-Chairs are Simin Allison, Kathryn and Kenneth Chenault, Daria L. Foster and Eric J. Wallach, Agnes and Gerald Hassell, Debra L. Lee and Joan and Sandy Weill.
Family Matinee Series (Dec. 7 mat, 14 mat, 21 mat, 28 mat, Jan. 4 mat)
On Saturday afternoons, bring the whole family to enjoy the performance and stay for a free Q & A with the Ailey dancers in the theater after the performance. An increased number of 5 tickets are available, but buy early for the best seat selection. Offer subject to availability and maximum purchase limit (6 tickets). Not available online.
Celebrating Matthew Rushing (Dec. 17 @ 7:30pm)
A special program celebrating renowned Guest Artist Matthew Rushing, who has been inspiring Ailey audiences for over two decades, will include excerpts of Pas de Duke and Home, as well as A Song for You, Grace and Revelations in their entirety. Appointed Rehearsal Director and Guest Artist by Robert Battle in 2011, Rushing was a former student of The Ailey School and member of Ailey II before joining Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in 1992. He is acclaimed as one of the great male artists on the American concert dance stage.
New Year’s Eve Celebration (Dec. 31 at 7pm)
Dance in the New Year with Ailey in a celebratory performance featuring favorite Ailey dancers of the past and present that culminates with the timeless Revelations.
Special Season Finale Program (Jan. 5 @ 7:30pm)
For Alvin Ailey’s birthday, a special 2013 season highlights finale program will bring an exciting finish to the season.
Revelations - performed with live music – Dec. 4, Dec. 6 , Dec 7 mat & eve
“AILEY/ELLINGTON” Programs – Dec. 13, 15 mat, 18, 21 mat
“AILEY CLASSICS” Programs – Dec. 14, 24, 29 mat, Jan. 4
“ALL NEW” Programs – Dec. 20, 22 eve, 26, 28 eve, Jan. 4 mat
In addition to the premieres, new productions, and special programs, the season repertory includes:
Ailey Classics – Alvin Ailey
Music: Various Artists
Another Night – Kyle Abraham
Music: Dizzy Gillespie
Arden Court – Paul Taylor
Music: William Boyce
Episodes - Ulysses Dove
Music: Robert Ruggieri
From Before – Garth Fagan
Music: Ralph Macdonald
Grace – Ronald K. Brown
Music: Duke Ellington, Roy Davis, Fela Anikulapo Kuti
Home – Rennie Harris
Music: Dennis Ferrer, Raphael Xavier
In/Side - Robert Battle
Music: Nina Simone
Memoria - Alvin Ailey
Music: Keith Jarrett
Minus 16 – Ohad Naharin
Music: Various Artists
Night Creature - Alvin Ailey
Music: Duke Ellington
Petite Mort - Jií Kylián
Music: W. A. Mozart
Revelations - Alvin Ailey
Music: Traditional Spirituals
Strange Humors – Robert Battle
Music: John Mackey
FULL PERFORMANCE SCHEDULE ATTACHED - (All programming is subject to change)
CALENDAR LISTING INFORMATION
Led by Artistic Director Robert Battle, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, beloved as one of the world’s most popular dance companies, returns to the New York City Center stage from December 4, 2013 – January 5, 2014 with premieres, new productions and exciting performances by Ailey’s acclaimed dancers that have become a joyous holiday tradition. Tickets starting at 5 are on sale starting September 3rd and can be purchased at the New York City Center Box Office, through CityTix® at (212) 581-1212 or online at www.alvinailey.org or www.nycitycenter.org. Discount tickets are available for Ailey Super Fans who purchase tickets for more than one performance, for students with an appropriate ID and for groups of 10 or more (discounts do not apply to 5 tickets). The Saturday Family Matinee series includes a post-performance Q & A with the Ailey dancers and an increased availability of 5 tickets, but buy early for the best seat selection (Not available online and subject to available and six ticket maximum). For group sales, call 212-405-9082 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. For further information about the Alvin Ailey New York City Center season please visit www.alvinailey.org.
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater – December 4, 2013 – January 5, 2014
New York City Center - 131 West 55th Street, between 6th and 7th Avenues, New York, NY
(212) 581-1212 / www.nycitycenter.org
Opening Night Gala (Dec. 4th) 7:00pm (note earlier curtain time)
Tuesday - Thursday evenings 7:30pm (note new curtain time)
Friday & Saturday evenings 8:00pm
Sunday evenings 7:30pm
Saturday matinees 2:00pm
Sunday matinees 3:00pm
New Year’s Eve (Dec. 31st) 7:00pm (note earlier curtain time)