Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, beloved as one of the world's most popular dance companies and New York City Center's Principal Dance Company, returns for the 41st consecutive year to the New York City Center stage from November 28, 2012 – December 30, 2012 with exciting performances that have become a joyous holiday tradition.
Artistic Director Robert Battle will continue to surprise and delight audiences with premieres and new productions that expand his vision for the company, adding dynamic choreographic voices to the repertory that challenge Ailey's extraordinary artists in new ways.
The world premiere of Another Night by in-demand young choreographer Kyle Abraham innovatively fuses the many dynamic facets of American dance, from hip hop to ballet, and showcases the artistry and versatility of the Ailey dancers. With music by Dizzy Gillespie, the new work is being created with the support of commissioning funds from New York City Center and the Hopkins Center for the Arts at Dartmouth, in celebration of the Center's 50th Anniversary.
Petite Mort, a ballet of breathtaking sensuality and visual surprises, will premiere on the Company marking the first time a work by renowned European choreographer Ji?í Kylián will appear in the Ailey repertory. Set to two of Mozart's most popular piano concertos, the theatrical work features six men and six women intermingling with fencing foils and elaborate ball gowns in an unforgettable battle of the sexes.
From Before is an ensemble piece blending the rhythms of African dance with Caribbean influences beautifully crafted by Garth Fagan, the Tony Award-winning choreographer of The Lion King. The Ailey company premiere is the first time this revered work, which distills movement to its purest form and features a jazzy percussive score by Grammy winner Ralph MacDonald, will be staged for a company other than Garth Fagan Dance.
Artistic Director Robert Battle's Strange Humors is a thrillingly intense duet set to John Mackey's propulsive score for strings and African drum. This riveting company premiere pits two men against each other in surprising sequences that ignite with aggression and discord, mischievousness and humor, as the relationship between the two dancers builds to an exciting crescendo.
Ronald K. Brown's landmark Grace, created for Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in 1999, returns to the repertory in a rapturous, spiritually-charged new production. Infused with Brown's signature blend of modern dance and West African idioms, this moving journey acknowledging the grace that surrounds us all is set to Duke Ellington's classic "Come Sunday," Roy Davis' hit "Gabriel," and the powerful rhythms of Fela Kuti's Afro-Pop.
A new production will be staged of Ailey Classics, a vibrant anthology of highlights from founder Alvin Ailey's prolific 30-year career - including such audience favorites and classics as Cry, Love Songs and For 'Bird' With Love - culminating with his signature masterpiece Revelations, performed in its entirety.
"I'm thrilled to be further expanding Ailey's diverse repertory with new voices and talented contemporary choreographers that showcase the depth and breadth of the dancers' artistry. Audiences will experience new treasures, along with encores of last season's notable works and beloved pieces from Ailey's rich history, including a program that highlights our founder Alvin Ailey," said Artistic Director Robert Battle. "Between our Opening Night Gala Benefit and the Season Finale, there will be a variety of special programs that feature live music, all new works and a celebration of two much-admired Ailey family members who will be taking a bow - Sharon Gersten Luckman and Renee Robinson."
Academy Award-winning actress and comedienne Mo'Nique will serve as Honorary Chair and Honored Guest for the November 28th Opening Night Gala Benefit performance and party that launches the season with a fundraiser to support Ailey's extensive educational and training programs for young people. The curtain will rise to an encore performance of Ohad Naharin's Minus 16, an eclectic dance and musical excursion that delights audiences with improvisation and an invitation to join Ailey's acclaimed dancers onstage. Revelations with live music will provide the inspiring finale for the memorable opening.