Upcoming Performance Broadcasts Feature Camille A. Brown’s City of Rain and Alvin Ailey’s Classic Blues Suite from 1985 PBS Great Performances Three by Three TV Special
Ailey Up Close Series Presents Roots of Blues Suite: “Blood Memories” of Alvin Ailey’s First Masterpiece from Carmen de Lavallade, Sylvia Waters and Masazumi Chaya
|Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in Camille A. Brown’s City of Rain. Photo by Paul Kolnik; Alvin Ailey. Photo by Normand Maxon; BellydanceBURN at Ailey Extension. Photo by Kyle Froman. Ctrl + click for high-res images.|
New York, NY – July 15, 2020 – Founder Alvin Ailey’s ground-breaking legacy drives the Ailey organization to share the Ailey spirit despite unprecedented times through Ailey All Access. The streaming series, reaching more than 23 million fans, features free performance broadcasts, Ailey Extension dance and fitness classes, original short films created by the Ailey dancers, and other especially created content.
Weekly performance broadcasts on Thursday at 7pm EDT, and available online for one week, continue on July 16th with the streaming ofCamille A. Brown’s City of Rain, aquietly lyrical, yet powerful ballet honoring a close friend who passed away due to an illness that paralyzed him from the waist down. 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.” Ailey will also showcase a special bonus video of Ms. Brown performing an excerpt of the ballet outside in the rain. The City of Rain playlist on Ailey’s YouTube page will include rehearsal interviews discussing the re-creation of the ballet and behind-the-scenes videos.
The performance series continues on July 23rdwith the presentation of Alvin Ailey’s Blues Suite from Three by Three, a 1985 PBS Great Performances television special. “Blood memories” of rural, Depression-era southern Texas, come to life in Blues Suite, which launched Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in 1958 and defined Alvin Ailey’s choreographic genius of presenting real people on the concert dance stage. With the rumble of a train and the toll of distant bells, a cast of vividly-drawn characters from the barrelhouses and fields of his Texas childhood are summoned to dance and revel through one long, sultry night. Ailey’s classic is set to songs of lost love, despair, and protest, expressing the sorrow, humor, and humanity of the blues, the heartfelt music that he called “hymns to the secular regions of the soul.”
Next week, in conjunction with the July 23rd broadcast, Ailey Up Close presents Roots of Blues Suite: “Blood Memories” of Alvin Ailey’s First Masterpiece from Carmen de Lavallade, Sylvia Waters and Masazumi Chaya. Each of these renowned figures, who have been central to the world of Alvin Ailey for decades, will share their personal memories of working with Alvin Ailey and the brilliance of his first masterpiece. The talks by Ms. de Lavallade, Ms. Waters and Mr. Chaya will be introduced by Judith Jamison, Robert Battle and Matthew Rushing respectively.
Ailey Extension Dance and Fitness Classes
This weekAiley Extensionis adding four new opportunities to help people keep moving throughout the week. Dancers can explore a fusion of modern, jazz, and ballet movements during Beginner Contemporary with Michael Thomas on Mondays at 7:30pm EDT. Students can learn to embrace individualized style through challenging and energetic combinations during Beginner Hip Hop with TweetBoogie on Wednesdays at 6pm EDT. Anyone looking to spice up their fitness routine can shake and shimmy throughout BellydanceBURN with Janelle Issis on Thursdays at 10:30am EDT. Dancers can tap into their femininity with choreography that focuses on grooves, lines, floor work, and a few hair whips in Beginner Heels with Courtney Sauls on Thursdays at 9pm.
Ailey Extension Online offers more than 30 weekly classes for adults and children as young as 8 years old. For more details about Ailey’s live and on-demand virtual classes and workshops – which include Horton, ballet, hip hop, vogue, West African and more styles taught by Ailey Extension’s elite instructors – please visit aileyextension.com/keepdancing.
Still, We Dance Campaign
Every contribution to the Still, We Dance campaign makes it possible for the Ailey organization to move forward during unprecedented times, while making it possible for Ailey to offer a variety of programming through Ailey All Access and prepare for the upcoming 2020-21 season paying tribute to six decades of Revelations. What makes Alvin Ailey’s pioneering legacy forever relevant is that it speaks to the common humanity in us all. Mr. Ailey understood the importance of always delivering dance back to the people. And that is why, despite the uncertainty we currently face, Still, We Dance.
To enjoy a variety of digital content, follow Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and the Ailey Extension on Facebook and Instagram, Ailey II on Facebook, and The Ailey School on Instagram, as well as visit Ailey All Access and www.alvinailey.org regularly for updates.
Bank of America is Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s National Tour Sponsor.
The 2020 National Tour is supported, in part, by the National Endowment for the Arts.
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 changed forever the perception of American dance. Founded by Alvin Ailey, 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 – as well as millions more through television broadcasts, film screenings, and online platforms – 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), and appears frequently in other major theaters throughout the United States and the world during extensive yearly 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.