This Week in New York Insider's Guide to Arts & Culture in New York City Since 2001

15Nov/14

ALVIN AILEY AMERICAN DANCE THEATER NY CITY CENTER SEASON

Robert Moses’s THE PLEASURE OF THE LESSON will makes its Ailey company premiere at City Center (photo by Paul Kolnik)

Robert Moses’s THE PLEASURE OF THE LESSON will makes its Ailey company premiere at City Center (photo by Paul Kolnik)

New York City Center
130 West 56th St. between Sixth & Seventh Aves.
December 3 - January 4, $25-$150
212-581-1212
www.alvinailey.org
www.nycitycenter.org

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater has something extra special to celebrate this year, as the company prepares for its annual holiday season at City Center. Their founder, Alvin Ailey, who started the troupe in 1958 and passed away in 1989, will be posthumously honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom on November 24, to be accepted by current AAADT artistic director Robert Battle. In addition, longtime chairman of the board Joan H. Weill is retiring, going out with a bang, as more than $40 million has been raised in her honor so far for in the Campaign for Ailey’s Future. The season begins December 3 with an opening-night gala featuring Battle’s Unfold, with live music by Romanian soprano Angela Gheorghiu, the company premiere of Hofesh Schechter’s Uprising, and the Ailey classic Revelations, also with live music. Making its world premieres over the course of the month are Matthew Rushing’s Odetta, a tribute to the singer-songwriter and activist, and Robert Moses’s The Pleasure of the Lesson, while the other company premieres are Christopher Wheeldon’s After the Rain (Pas de Deux), Asadata Dafora’s Awassa Astrige / Ostrich, and Jacqulyn Buglisi’s Suspended Women.

Matthew Rushing’s ODETTA honors the singer-songwriter and activist on the fiftieth anniversary of the Civil Rights Act (photo by Steve Wilson)

Matthew Rushing’s ODETTA honors the singer-songwriter and activist on the fiftieth anniversary of the Civil Rights Act (photo by Steve Wilson)

Continuing through January 4, the season also includes new productions of Ulysses Dove’s Bad Blood and Hans van Manen’s Polish Pieces; the always popular “Ailey/Ellington” program, consisting of Night Creature, Pas de Duke, The River, and Revelations; Saturday afternoon family matinees followed by Q&As with the dancers; and “Celebrating the Women of Ailey,” a presentation on December 16 honoring the fabulous Linda Celeste Sims, Hope Boykin, and the rest of the Ailey women with Cry, Night Creature, an excerpt from Vespers, and Revelations. Among the returning favorites are David Parsons’s blinding Caught, Ronald K. Brown’s elegant Four Corners and Grace, Ohad Naharin’s rapturous Minus 16, Battle’s dizzying Takademe, and Bill T. Jones’s D-Man in the Waters (Part 1). And for New Year’s Eve, Revelations will be performed by past and present members of the company.

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