ALVIN AILEY AMERICAN DANCE THEATER OPENS TONIGHT IN SOUTH AFRICA; HISTORIC RETURN INCLUDES PERFORMANCES AT TEATRO AT MONTECASINO IN JOHANNESBURG (SEP 3 – 13) & OPERA HOUSE, ARTSCAPE IN CAPE TOWN (SEP 16 – 20), AS WELL AS OUTREACH PROGRAMS IN AREA SCHOOLS, COMMUNITIES, AND TOWNSHIPS; NEW YORKERS CAN EXPERIENCE THE JOY OF AILEY DURING NEW YORK CITY CENTER HOLIDAY SEASON DECEMBER 2, 2015 – JANUARY 3, 2016

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ALVIN AILEY AMERICAN DANCE THEATER OPENS TONIGHT IN SOUTH AFRICA

HISTORIC RETURN INCLUDES PERFORMANCES AT TEATRO AT MONTECASINO IN JOHANNESBURG (SEP 3 – 13) & OPERA HOUSE, ARTSCAPE IN CAPE TOWN (SEP 16 – 20), AS WELL AS OUTREACH PROGRAMS IN AREA SCHOOLS, COMMUNITIES, AND TOWNSHIPS

NEW YORKERS CAN EXPERIENCE THE JOY OF AILEY DURING NEW YORK CITY CENTER HOLIDAY SEASON
DECEMBER 2, 2015 – JANUARY 3, 2016

TICKETS STARTING AT $25 GO ON SALE SEPTEMBER 8!

New York – September 3, 2015 – Tonight marks the beginning of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s return to South Africa nearly two decades after historic residencies in post-apartheid South Africa in 1997 and 1998, following the lifting of the international cultural boycott. Recognized by U.S. Congressional Resolution as a vital American “Cultural Ambassador to the World,” Ailey will perform in Johannesburg at Teatro at Montecasino from September 3 – 13 and for the first time – Cape Town at Opera House, Artscape from September 16 – 20. After its Johannesburg debut, Time magazine proclaimed that “the Ailey company’s tour leaves South Africa dancing in the aisles,” and this season is sure to be equally inspirational.

“Alvin Ailey was posthumously awarded the 2014 Presidential Medal of Freedom – the nation’s highest civilian honor.  25 years after his passing, the power of his enduring legacy continues to extend from New York to far-reaching international tours and memorable visits to communities around the globe,” stated Robert Battle, Artistic Director since 2011.  “Mr. Ailey said it so well: ‘Dance came from the people and should always be delivered back to the people.’  I’m proud to lead the Company back to South Africa for the first time this century and excited for audiences there to experience uplifting performances by the world’s most amazing dancers.”

The Company will step off the stage and into the community to lead workshops, lecture demonstrations, and master classes for 10 days of the 18-day residency. Outreach will take place at over two dozen schools, universities, and community centers throughout the country, including Bapedi Lower Primary School in Soweto, Pretoria University, Dance Factory in Newton, National School of the Arts, and the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls.

The 2015 residency in South Africa is made possible by lead sponsor Bloomberg Philanthropies with major support from Bank of America Merrill Lynch and the Ford Foundation, as well as assistance from travel and freight partners South African Airways and South African Airways Cargo.

“I know that South African audiences will be transfixed and inspired by the company’s performances in Johannesburg and Cape Town, as well as the fantastic educational outreach programs that the group is planning during their visit,” stated United States Ambassador to South Africa Patrick H. Gaspard.  “Receiving the Ailey company in South Africa will truly be a highlight of my tenure as Ambassador.”

Renowned photographer Andrew Eccles is accompanying the dancers to take behind-the-scenes photos and video during the tour.  Click through for hi-res images of outreach and performances (please credit photos appropriately). To read the Associated Press story on Ailey’s South Africa outreach, click here. And follow the Ailey dancers’ South Africa travels on Instagram: @alvinailey.

While the incomparable Ailey dancers are inspiring audiences in South Africa, tickets for their New York City Center season December 2 – January 3 will go on sale September 8. Led by Robert Battle in his fifth season, Ailey’s renowned artists will bring to life an expansive repertory of two dozen works by some of America’s most celebrated dance-makers during this annual season, which has become a joyous holiday tradition. The performances will feature three new productions of Ailey Classics – Cry, Love Songs, and Blues Suite – a Company premiere by Paul Taylor, and world premieres by Kyle Abraham, Ronald K. Brown and Robert Battle – his first since becoming Artistic Director. The season will also include an Opening Night Gala Benefit, a special New Year’s Eve 50th Anniversary Tribute to Judith Jamison, and much more. Tickets start at just $25 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.

The season continues in 2016 with a 20-city North American tour from February 2 – May 6, launched by a gala at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington D.C. on Tuesday, February 2. Audiences from coast to coast will have the opportunity to see Ailey’s extraordinary dancers live in a robust repertory of world premieres, new productions, and Ailey classics.

Ailey will reach new heights during the 2015-2016 season, connecting with audiences not only via the stage, but also the screen and the page.  On Thursday, October 22 at 7pm, audiences at approximately 600 movie theaters across the U.S. will be able to enjoy Ailey’s big screen debut, part of “Lincoln Center at the Movies: Great American Dance, presented by Fathom Events and Lincoln Center. On October 27, the children’s book MY STORY, MY DANCE: Robert Battle’s Journey to Alvin Ailey, written and illustrated by award-winning husband-and-wife team James Ransome and Lesa Cline-Ransome, will be released by Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing. Based on Battle’s life, the book tells the unique story of a young boy who, despite physical challenges and other hardships, has a life filled with music, church, and movement – first martial arts, and then, after seeing Alvin Ailey’s Revelations, dance. The book is for ages 5 – 10 and is a success story that is sure to inspire all.

For more information, visit alvinailey.org.

ALVIN AILEY AMERICAN DANCE THEATER 2015 – 2016 SCHEDULE

September 2015
Sep 3 – 20: South Africa Tour

Sep 3 – 13: Johannesburg, Teatro at Montecasino

Sep 16 – 20: Cape Town, Opera House, Artscape

October 2015
Oct 22: “Lincoln Center at the Movies: Great American Dance” nationwide screenings, 7pm local time

Oct 27: Release of MY STORY, MY DANCE: Robert Battle’s Journey to Alvin Ailey

December 2015
Dec 2 – Jan 3: New York City Center season

February – May 2016
Feb 2 – May 8: North American Tour

Feb 2 – 7: Washington, DC, John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts

Feb 10 – 14: Atlanta, GA, Fox Theatre

Feb 16: Gainesville, FL, Curtis M. Phillips, M.D. Center for the Performing Arts

Feb 18 – 21: Miami, FL, Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts

Feb 23 – 24: Chapel Hill, NC, Memorial Hall, University of North Carolina

Feb 26 – 28: Norfolk, VA, Chrysler Hall

Mar 1 – 2: Minneapolis, MN, Northrup Auditorium, University of Minnesota

Mar 4 – 6: Toronto, ON, Sony Centre for the Performing Arts

Mar 9 – 13: Chicago, IL, Auditorium Theater of Roosevelt University

Mar 15: Louisville, KY, Robert S. Whitney Hall, The Kentucky Center

Mar 17 – 20: Boston, MA, Wang Theater, Citi Performing Arts Center

Mar 29 – Apr 3: Berkeley, CA, Zellerbach Hall, University of California at Berkeley

Apr 6 – 10: Costa Mesa, CA, Segerstrom Hall Center for the Arts

Apr 12 – 13: Santa Barbara, CA, The Arlington Theatre

Apr 15 – 17: Seattle, WA, Paramount Theatre

Apr 19 – 20: Las Vegas, NV, Smith Center for the Performing Arts

Apr 23 – 24: Houston, TX, Jones Hall, Houston Society for the Performing Arts

Apr 26 – 27: Baltimore, MD, The Lyric Opera House

Apr 29 – May 1: Cleveland, OH, Playhouse Square

May 6 – 8: Newark, NJ, New Jersey Performing Arts Center

 

(L to R) AAADT’s Yannick Lebrun . Photo by Andrew Eccles; AAADT’s Linda Celeste Sims and Glenn Allen Sims in Alvin Ailey’s Revelations. Photo by Andrew Eccles; Cover of My Story, My Dance.  Illustration by James Ransome; AAADT with Artistic Director Robert Battle, Associate Artistic Director Masazumi Chaya, and Rehearsal Director and Guest Artist Matthew Rushing. Photo by Andrew Eccles.  (CTRL+ CLICK ON PHOTOS FOR HI-RES DOWNLOAD)  – Please Credit Photos

Bloomberg Philanthropies is the Lead Sponsor of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s 2015 South Africa Tour.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch is a Major Sponsor of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s 2015 South Africa Tour.

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s South Africa Tour is supported by a grant from the Ford Foundation.

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s production of Revelations, Chroma, Grace, and Takademe for Lincoln Center at the Movies: Great American Dance is supported by a grant from the Howard Gilman Foundation.

Wells Fargo is the sponsor of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s New York Winter Season.

American Express is the Official Card of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.

Opening Night Gala Benefit Sponsors: Simin Allison, American Express, BET Networks, BNY Mellon,
Daria L. & Eric J. Wallach, Joan & Sandy Weill and The Weill Family Foundation.

Southern Company is the proud sponsor of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s Washington, DC Gala Benefit.

Major support for Ailey’s Arts In Education & Community Programs is provided by Southern Company.

American Airlines is the Official Airline of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.

The 2015-2016 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.

ABOUT 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 March 1958 performance in New York that forever changed the perception of American dance. Founded by Alvin Ailey, a recent posthumous recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom – the nation’s highest civilian honor, and guided by Judith Jamison beginning in 1989, the Company is now led by Robert Battle, whom Judith Jamison chose to succeed her on July 1, 2011. Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater has performed for an estimated 25 million people in 71 countries on 6 continents, promoting the uniqueness of the African‐American cultural experience and the preservation and enrichment of the American modern dance tradition. In addition to being the Principal Dance Company of New York City Center, where its performances have become a year‐end tradition, the Ailey company performs annually at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC, the Auditorium Theatre in Chicago, the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami‐Dade County in Miami, The Fox Theatre in Atlanta, Zellerbach Hall in Berkeley, CA and at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark (where it is the Principal Resident Affiliate). The Company also appears frequently in other major theaters throughout the United States and the world during extensive annual tours. The Ailey organization also includes Ailey II (1974), a second performing company of emerging young dancers and innovative choreographers; The Ailey School (1969), one of the most extensive dance training programs in the world, Ailey Arts in Education & Community Programs, which brings dance into the classrooms, communities and lives of people of all ages, and The Ailey Extension (2005), a program offering dance and fitness classes to the general public, which began with the opening of Ailey’s permanent home—the largest building dedicated to dance in New York City, the dance capital of the world —named The Joan Weill Center for Dance, at 55th Street at 9th Avenue in New York City.  For more information, visit www.alvinailey.org.

ABOUT BLOOMBERG PHILANTHROPIES
Bloomberg Philanthropies’ mission is to ensure better, longer lives for the greatest number of people. The organization focuses on five key areas for creating lasting change: Public Health, Environment, Education, Government Innovation and the Arts. Bloomberg Philanthropies encompasses all of Michael R. Bloomberg’s charitable activities, including his foundation and his personal giving. In 2014, Bloomberg Philanthropies distributed $462 million. For more information on the philanthropy, please visit bloomberg.org or follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @BloombergDotOrg.

ABOUT BANK OF AMERICA MERRILL LYNCH CORPORATE RESPONSIBILITY
Developing solutions for social and economic challenges is at the core of Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s responsibility platform. In more than 90 countries around the world, we partner with employees, clients and stakeholders to help make financial lives better. The company focuses on responsible business practices, environmental sustainability, advancing opportunity in local communities through education and employability programmes and investing in global leadership development. We realise the power of our people and value our differences, recognising that our diversity makes us a stronger firm and allows us to better service our stakeholders. By harnessing our intellectual resources, sharing knowledge and connecting capital with need, we are providing opportunities that effect positive change. Learn more at www.bankofamerica.com/about and follow us on Twitter @BofAML.

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