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 Presents 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
Exceptional Opening Includes Free Revelations Celebration on the Plaza Workshop and Ailey Spirit Gala Benefit with Honorary Chair Vanessa Williams and
Performances by Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Ailey II, The Ailey School and AileyCampers Together For First Time Ever on Koch Stage
Tickets starting at $25 are on sale
New York – June 4, 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 15-performance engagement at the David H. Koch Theater June 11 – 22, 2014. Artistic Director Robert Battle is presenting Ailey’s acclaimed dancers in diverse repertory highlighted by the world premiere The Pleasure of the Lesson – a first-time collaboration with Robert Moses – 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. The two-week spring season kicks off in an exceptional way with a free workshop – Revelations Celebration on the Plaza – followed by The Ailey Spirit Gala, a one-night-only benefit performance and party.
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 a wide array of choreographers. It is also incredible to kick-off the engagement with a joyous and very meaningful celebration.”
Beginning on Wednesday, June 11th at 5:30pm on the Josie Robertson Plaza, Revelations Celebration on the Plaza will give participants of all ages a rare opportunity to experience a free grand dance workshop celebrating Alvin Ailey’s signature American masterpiece, and marking the 25th season since the legendary founder’s passing. The special activity will be led by Ailey master teacher and former Company member Nasha Thomas-Schmitt who will teach movements from three distinctive sections of Revelations: “I’ve Been ‘Buked,” “Wade in the Water,” and “Rocka My Soul.” Live music with drummer and singers will be featured at the event.
Renowned actress, singer, and multi-faceted entertainer Vanessa Williams is the Honorary Chair for the inaugural Ailey Spirit Gala benefit sponsored by FedEx Corporation. The one-night-only performance at 7pm includes the world-renowned Ailey dancers in excerpts of Wayne McGregor’s Chroma, Aszure Barton’s LIFT, and a new production of David Parsons’ signature solo, Caught. The rising stars of Ailey II will perform an excerpt of Jennifer Archibald’s Wings, gifted young dancers from The Ailey School (ages 6 to 23) will showcase their talents and the breadth of the program’s training in Synthesis II, and talented students from AileyCamp will perform a work inspired by Ronald K. Brown’s Grace. An expanded cast of 50 of the present and future stars of Ailey will come together for a memorable finale of Alvin Ailey’s timeless, Revelations. Following the performance, a dance party on the promenade will feature the musical stylings of deejay to the stars, DJ M.O.S. For tickets call 212-405-9031.
The Pleasure of the Lesson, Robert Moses’ world premiere on Thursday, June 12th at 7:30pm, is being created with a cast of 10 dancers 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 that celebrate 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 as he magically moves across the stage.
Also repeated on 6/19 eve, 6/21 mat., and 6/22 eve, this program ends with Revelations and begins with LIFT, a 2013-14 season world premiere by in-demand choreographer Aszure Barton in collaboration with the cast of 19 dancers who inspired the process, movement and composition, as well as the original percussive score by Curtis Macdonald.
A free question-and-answer session with Ailey’s much-admired dancers will follow the inspiring finale of Revelations on the Family Matinee performances scheduled for Saturday, June 14th and 21st at 2pm.
New dancers joining Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater for the Lincoln Center performances are Jacquelin Harris (Charlotte, NC) and Collin Heyward (Newport News, VA), both accomplished former members of Ailey II and honors graduates from the Ailey/Fordham B.F.A. program in Dance, as well as Danica Paulos (Huntington Beach, CA) who also trained at The Ailey School.
Tickets starting at $25 can be purchased 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. Detailed schedule below.
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.
Wine and spirits for The Ailey Spirit Gala generously provided by Diageo.
Artistic Director Robert Battle with Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater members. Photo by Andrew Eccles; AAADT in Wayne McGregor’s Chroma. Photo by Paul Kolnik; AAADT’s Antonio Douthit-Boyd and Akua Noni Parker in Hans van Manen’s Polish Pieces. Photo by Andrew Eccles; AAADT’s Rachael McLaren. Photos by Andrew Eccles
CALENDAR LISTING INFORMATION
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
June 11 – 22, 2014 at Lincoln Center’s David H. Koch Theater
20 Lincoln Center Plaza, New York, NY (Columbus Avenue at 63rd Street)
(212) 496-0600 / www.lincolncenter.org
Programming – Subject to Change
Wednesday, June 11, 7:00pm – The Ailey Spirit Gala – including Caught and Revelations
Thursday, June 12, 7:30pm – Chroma / The Pleasure of the Lesson / Revelations
Friday, June 13, 8:00pm – Grace / Awassa Astrige/Ostrich, D-Man in the Waters (Part I) / Minus 16
*Saturday, June 14, 2:00pm – “Ailey/Ellington” – Night Creature, Pas de Duke / The River / Revelations
*Family Matinee – followed by a Post-Performance Q&A session with the dancers
Saturday, June 14, 8:00pm – Chroma / The Pleasure of the Lesson / Revelations
Sunday, June 15, 3:00pm – “Ailey/Ellington” – Night Creature, Pas de Duke / The River / Revelations
Sunday, June 15, 7:30pm – Grace / Awassa Astrige/Ostrich, D-Man in the Waters (Part I) / Minus 16
Tuesday, June 17, 7:30pm – LIFT / Polish Pieces, Caught / Revelations
Wednesday, June 18, 7:30pm – Chroma / The Pleasure of the Lesson / Revelations
Thursday, June 19, 7:30pm – LIFT / Polish Pieces, Caught / Revelations
Friday, June 20, 8:00pm – “Ailey/Ellington” – Night Creature, Pas de Duke / The River / Revelations
*Saturday, June 21, 2:00pm – LIFT / Polish Pieces, Caught / Revelations
*Family Matinee – followed by a Post-Performance Q&A session with the dancers
Saturday, June 21, 8:00pm – Grace / Awassa Astrige/Ostrich, D-Man in the Waters (Part I) / Minus 16
Sunday, June 22, 3:00pm – Chroma / The Pleasure of the Lesson / Revelations
Sunday, June 22, 7:30pm – LIFT / Polish Pieces, Caught / Revelations
PRESS: For additional press materials please visit the links below or
The 2014 Lincoln Center Engagement: Highlights
Company Premieres and New Productions
Polish Pieces (1995)
2013-14 Season Premieres and New Productions
D-Man In The Waters (Part I) (1989, revised 1998)
Pas de Duke (1976)
The River (1970)
Minus 16 (1999)
Night Creature (1975)
ABOUT ALVIN AILEY AMERICAN DANCE THEATER
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