Ailey’s Holiday Season Celebrates The Ailey School’s 50th Anniversary and Presents the World Premiere of ‘Ode’ By First-Ever Resident Choreographer Jamar Roberts and Company Premiere of Aszure Barton’s ‘BUSK’

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Tonight: Celebrating The Ailey School’s 50th Anniversary with Students Performing Alvin Ailey’s Memoria and Revelations Alongside the Company, World Premiere of Resident Choreographer Jamar Roberts’ Ode


This Week: Season Continues with Company Debut of Aszure Barton’s BUSK and Special

All Ailey and All New Programs


Week Ahead: Company Premiere of Camille A. Brown’s City of Rain and Celebration of Masazumi Chaya During His Final Season as Associate Artistic Director


On Tuesday, December 10th, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater continues its holiday season with a celebration of The Ailey School’s 50th anniversary, honoring its standard of excellence for providing exceptional training to more than 3,500 students annually. This special evening features students performing alongside the Company in Alvin Ailey’s Memoria and Revelations.


Tonight will also mark the world premiere of Ailey dancer Jamar Roberts’ Ode, the first in a series of three new dance works as Roberts’ steps into his new role as Ailey’s first ever resident choreographer. Ode offers a meditation on the beauty and fragility of life in a time of growing gun violence. Set on six dancers, Ode will feature a jazz score by Don Pullen and includes Roberts’ own costume designs. There are five more chances to see Ode this season: Dec. 14 eve, 29 mat, Jan. 1 eve, 2 eve, 4 mat. [Listen to Jamar Roberts discuss Ode on NPR’s Morning Edition.]


Opening on Friday, December 13th, internationally renowned choreographer Aszure Barton’s BUSK invites us to enjoy the fragility, tenderness, and resilience that exist within the human experience. Set to a spirited score, BUSK has been described as watching the physical unfurling of the human psyche. Under Barton’s direction, every facet of the dancers’ bodies and minds are engaged, and the complex layering of movement reveals the inherent wisdom of the body. The dancers must tap into the collective – a hive mind – in order to execute Barton’s layered and intricate choreographic structures which then give way to the nuance of each individual. The audience is invited into the work and the performers – as they are – are celebrated as enough. There are seven more chances to see BUSK this season: Dec. 14 eve, 20 eve, 21 eve, 27 eve, 28 eve, Jan. 1 eve, 5 mat.


Special programs kick off this week with two All Ailey performances on Wednesday, December 12 and Saturday, December 14 (matinee). All Ailey programming features four of Mr. Ailey’s most celebrated ballets, Night Creature, Cry, Memoria, and Revelations. Audiences can take in the first All New special program on Saturday, December 14 (eve) featuring a few of the season’s world and company premieres thus far including Darrel Moultrie’s Ounce of Faith, Jamar Roberts’ Ode, and Aszure Barton’s BUSK.






On Saturday afternoons, bring the whole family to enjoy the performance and stay afterwards for a free Q&A with the acclaimed Ailey dancers in the theater.


Upcoming Performance Dates: Dec. 14 mat, 21 mat, 28 mat, Jan. 4 mat



Premiering on Tuesday, December 17th, Camille A. Brown’s quietly lyrical City of Rain honors the struggles and grace of a deceased friend, showing a different facet of the choreographer than Ailey audiences have seen in her previous works for the Company.  Dedicated to Greg ‘Blyes’ Boomer, the work for 10 dancers is set to an original composition by Jonathan Melville Pratt entitled Two Way Dream. A recipient of numerous honors, including a 2014 Bessie Award for Outstanding Production for the work Mr. TOL. E. RAncE (Camille A. Brown & Dancers), Ms. Brown choreographed Broadway’s Choir Boy (TONY nominee for Best Choreography), the TONY Award-winning revival of Once On This Island, and the Emmy Award-winning television special, Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert.


Performance Dates: Dec. 20 eve, 21 eve, 27 eve, Jan. 1 eve, 5 mat



The New York City Center engagement also marks the final season as Associate Artistic Director for Masazumi Chaya, who will be celebrated with a special program on Sunday, December 22nd. The one-night only performance commemorating Mr. Chaya’s years of dedication to upholding Alvin Ailey’s vision, will include special appearances by beloved figures in Ailey history Carmen de Lavallade, Judith Jamison, Sylvia Waters, and Donna Wood. A piece d’occasion entitled The Best is Yet to Come created by Matthew Rushing will grace the stage featuring former Ailey stars Sarita Allen, Guillermo Asca, Elizabeth Roxas Dobrish, Tracy Inman, Christopher Jackson, Aubrey Lynch, Amos J. Machanic Jr., Troy Powell, Renee Robinson, Michael Thomas, and Nasha Thomas. Over a dozen excerpts that highlight Mr. Chaya’s extensive career will be performed by former company members.



Celebrate the holidays with four special evening performances on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. These inspiring programs feature diverse works including Robert Battle’s Mass and In/Side, Judith Jamison’s A Case of You and Divining, Jessica Lang’s EN, Darrell Grand Moultrie’s Ounce of Faith, Donald Byrd’s world premiere Greenwood, Camille A. Brown’s City of Rain, Lar Lubovitch’s Fandango, Aszure Barton’s BUSK, and Alvin Ailey’s timeless masterpiece Revelations. Tickets to an Ailey performance make for a lovely holiday present. Give the gift of Ailey this season with performances sure to inspire.




Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, beloved as one of the world’s most popular dance companies, returns to the New York City Center stage December 4, 2019 – January 5, 2020 for a joyous holiday tradition. Led by Artistic Director Robert Battle, Ailey’s 32 extraordinary dancers will move audiences with premieres, new productions, repertory favorites and classics like the American masterpiece Revelations, acclaimed as a must-see for all. Tickets starting at $29 can be purchased at the New York City Center Box Office, through CityTix® at (212) 581-1212 or online at or 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 $29 tickets). The Saturday Family Matinee series includes a post-performance Q&A with the Ailey dancers and an increased availability of $29 tickets; but buy early for the best seat selection. For group sales, call 212-405-9082 or e-mail [email protected]. For further information, visit



Audience members are welcome to join in the dance at Ailey Extension’s real classes for real people with “Ticket to Dance”. First-time students can redeem their performance ticket stub for a complimentary dance or fitness class and returning students will receive a free class with the purchase of a 10-class card. Offer is valid for 60 days from the performance date.


Delta Air Lines is the Official Airline of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s New York Winter Season.

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


Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater gratefully acknowledges the support of Diageo, North America.

 Opening Night Gala Sponsors: BNY Mellon, Diageo and EHE Health. 


The creation of Ode is supported by commissioning funds from New York City Center, which is provided by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation.


The 2019 Winter 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.




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