AILEY’S 5-WEEK HOLIDAY SEASON IS ROCKING AUDIENCES AT NEW YORK CITY CENTER!
Special Guest Lauryn Hill Attended the Opening of Robert Battle’s Awakening – his First World Premiere Since Becoming Artistic Director
WEEK AHEAD: Season Continues on December 8th with New Productions of Ailey Classics Love Songs and Cry – the Solo made Famous by Judith Jamison who Celebrates 50 Years with Ailey this Season – the December 9th World Premiere of MacArthur “Genius” Kyle Abraham’s Untitled America: First Movement, and the December 11th Company Premiere of Paul Taylor’s Piazzolla Caldera
Left to right: AAADT in Robert Battle’s Awakening. Photo by Paul Kolnik. Artistic Director Robert Battle and Lauryn Hill. Photo by Naya Samuel. AAADT in Paul Taylor’s Piazzolla Caldera. Photo by Paul Kolnik.
On Friday, December 4th, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater unveiled Robert Battle’s Awakening, his first world premiere since becoming Artistic Director. Grammy-award winning singer Lauryn Hill was in attendance for the debut of the powerful work in which a dozen Ailey dancers lead the audience on a cathartic journey of dissonance and harmony, chaos and resolution. There are seven more opportunities to see Awakening during Ailey’s New York City Center holiday season: Dec 12 mat, 17, 19 eve, 22, 24, 26 eve, Jan 2 eve.
The 5-week engagement at New York City Center continues this week with new productions of Ailey classics Cry and Love Songs on Tuesday, December 8th. Cry is the solo choreographed by Mr. Ailey as a birthday present for his mother, and famously danced by Judith Jamison, who celebrates 50 years with Ailey this season. Love Songs is the tour-de-force male solo originally created for the late Dudley Williams, and often considered the male counterpart to Cry. Both works return to the Ailey stage on the first night of the special “All Ailey” program, which is comprised entirely of works choreographed by the Company’s legendary founder (Dec 8, 13 mat, 16, 19 mat, 20 eve).
Wednesday, December 9th marks the world premiere of MacArthur “Genius” Kyle Abraham’s Untitled America: First Movement, a trio set to Laura Mvula’s “Father, Father.” In the first installment of a three-part suite, Abraham uses his unique avant-garde aesthetic and powerhouse athleticism to explore the lasting impact of incarceration in the prison system on individuals and families across generations. The week also includes the Company premiere of Paul Taylor’s sizzling, tango-inflected Piazzolla Caldera on Friday, December 11th.
Highlights later in the season include Ailey’s incomparable dancers performing in a live music new production of Blues Suite, the work that launched the Company in 1958, “All New” programs featuring all of the season’s premieres, “Ailey Visionaries” programs comprised of works by the Company’s three Artistic Directors – Alvin Ailey, Judith Jamison, and Robert Battle – and a special New Year’s Eve Celebration in honor of Judith Jamison’s 50th Ailey anniversary.
After the New York City Center engagement concludes on January 3rd, Ailey will perform in 20 cities across North America beginning in February. For more information, visit www.alvinailey.org.
UPCOMING PERFORMANCE HIGHLIGHTS:
CRY AND LOVE SONGS – NEW PRODUCTIONS
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 8TH
Cry is the physically and emotionally demanding solo created on Judith Jamison in 1971 as a birthday present for Alvin Ailey’s mother and dedicated to “all black women everywhere – especially our mothers.”
Performance Dates: Dec 8, 13 mat, 16, 19 mat, 20 eve, 23 mat, 30 mat, 31
Love Songs, choreographed in 1972 to music by Donny Hathaway and Nina Simone for the recently deceased Ailey legend Dudley Williams, is a three-part technical and dramatic tour-de-force displaying both the power and gentleness of the male soloist. It is often considered the male counterpart to Cry.
Performance Dates: Dec 8, 13 mat, 20 eve
UNTITLED AMERICA: FIRST MOVEMENT – WORLD PREMIERE
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 9TH
In the first installment of a three-part suite to be completed in 2016, MacArthur “Genius” Kyle Abraham, renowned for his avant-garde aesthetic and powerhouse athleticism, explores the lasting impact of incarceration in the prison system on individuals and families across generations. Untitled America: First Movement is a trio set to a contemporary sound score comprised of Laura Mvula’s “Father, Father.” Fusing many facets of dance vocabulary, Abraham’s movement style is decidedly original and contains wealth of physical detail that resonates with the Ailey dancers’ trademark versatility.
Performance Dates: Dec 9, 12 mat, 17, 19 eve, 22, 26 eve, Jan 2 eve
PIAZZOLLA CALDERA – COMPANY PREMIERE
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 11TH
Set to music by Astor Piazzolla and Jerzy Peterburshsky, Piazzolla Caldera is a finely wrought work sizzling with erotic energy by modern dance master Paul Taylor that captures the essence of tango culture. 12 men and women engage in a series of fiery encounters, in turns playful and predatory, in vivid duets and trios through the work’s four sections in this passionate homage to tango’s Argentinian working class roots.
Performance Dates: Dec 11, 13 eve, 17, 19 eve, 26 eve, Jan 2 eve
BLUES SUITE – NEW PRODUCTION
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 16TH
“Blood memories” of rural, Depression-era southern Texas, come to life in Blues Suite, Alvin Ailey’s hugely popular ballet that launched Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater at its first performance 57 years ago. With the rumble of a train and the toll of distant bells, a cast of vividly-drawn characters from the barrelhouses and fields of Alvin Ailey’s southern childhood are summoned to dance and revel through one long, sultry night. Last re-staged for the Company’s 50th anniversary 2008-2009 season, Ailey’s first masterpiece poignantly evokes the sorrow, humor, and humanity of the blues, those heartfelt songs that he called “hymns to the secular regions of the soul.” All performances of Blues Suite during the Company’s 2015 – 2016 New York City Center will be danced to live music performed by Kenny Brawner and The Brawner Brothers Band.
Performance Dates: Dec 16, 19 mat, 20 eve, 31