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Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater (Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater's Glenn Allen Sims. Photo by Andrew Eccles)

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater

Led by Artistic Director Robert Battle, "America's cultural ambassador to the world" returns for its annual engagement for more captivating new works and enduring classics, including Alvin Ailey's signature masterpiece Revelations.

  • Feb. 3 - 8, 2015
  • Opera House
  • Running Time: TBA
  • $30.00 - $125.00

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Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
Robert Battle, Artistic Director                                                               
Masazumi Chaya, Associate Artistic Director

"Unbelievable. Go see Ailey! It's change-your-life good."--NBC's Today Show
"Thrilling…superb…dancers going to the absolute limit"--The New Yorker
One of the world's favorite dance companies, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater grew from a now-fabled performance in March 1958 at the 92nd Street Y in New York City. What makes this phenomenal company so special is the talent and skill of its dancers--and the incomparable sense of joy, freedom, and spirit they share with audiences around the world. Discover for yourself what tens of millions of fans already know--you don't just see an Ailey performance, you feel it.
Artistic Director Robert Battle, "who understands the limits of a company's past, even if that past is still popular beyond belief" (Time Out Chicago), is continuing Alvin Ailey's tradition of presenting new works from leading American and international choreographers, in addition to company favorites. 

The amazingly athletic Ailey dancers perform to sold-out Kennedy Center audiences year after year. For their annual engagement in February 2015, they bring works by Aszure Barton, Jacqueline Buglisi, Ulysses Dove, Hans van Manen, Robert Moses, David Parsons, Matthew Rushing, Hofesh Shechter, and Christopher Wheeldon--and conclude each of their four programs with Alvin Ailey's signature masterpiece Revelations.
Performance Timing: TBA



Tue., Feb. 3 at 7 p.m.
Thu., Feb. 5 at 7:30 p.m.
Uprising (Hofesh Shechter)
Suspended Women (Jacqueline Buglisi)
Caught (David Parsons)
Revelations (Alvin Ailey)
Wed., Feb. 4 at 7:30 p.m.
Sat., Feb. 7 at 7:30 p.m.
ODETTA (Matthew Rushing)
Bad Blood (Ulysses Dove)
Fri., Feb. 6 at 7:30 p.m.
Sun., Feb. 8 at 1:30 p.m.
LIFT (Aszure Barton)
The Pleasure of the Lesson (Robert Moses)
After the Rain Pas De Deux (Christopher Wheeldon)
Sat., Feb. 7 at 1:30 p.m.
Followed by a FREE Explore the Arts post-performance discussion

Polish Pieces (Hans van Manen)
Bad Blood




by Matthew Rushing
The company's own rehearsal director and guest artist Matthew Rushing pays tribute to the singer, songwriter, and Civil Rights activist known as "the queen of American folk music."  The New York Times calls ODETTA one of this season's "events that have us especially excited."
The Pleasure of the Lesson by Robert Moses
Often praised for his sophisticated and visually arresting choreography, Moses shows off his flair for crafting sexy, seductive works in this piece for 10 dancers. Says the New York Times: "The pleasures lay in… a beautiful underwater softness here, percussive punch and whiplash speed there."


After The Rain Pas De Deux by Christopher Wheeldon
Notable for its restrained simplicity and intricate partnering, this dreamlike duet--performed to Estonian composer Arvo Pärt's Spiegel im Spiegelm--evokes feelings of tenderness, serenity, melancholy, and devotion. "Rare is the ballet that resonates so profoundly with audiences that it becomes an instant hit," says Dance Magazine. 

Suspended Women by Jacqulyn Buglisi
A signature work from the former Martha Graham Dance Company dancer and choreographer, this "mesmerizing" (The New York Times) ballet, set to music by Maurice Ravel, speaks to the challenges and strength of women across the ages. Twelve ghost-like female dancers, dressed in tattered period costumes, express frenzy and despair through off-balance and collapsing movements, while four male dancers weave through their ever-shifting patterns.

Uprising by Hofesh Shechter
Israel-born Shechter's testosterone-fueled work is a visceral exploration of masculine energy, embodied by seven men who emerge from the shadows to bond and spar to a propulsive percussive score by the choreographer himself. Widely considered his breakthrough work, Uprising defined Shechter as a new rebellious voice in dance with an untouchable ability to captivate audiences and set hearts pounding.


Bad Blood by Ulysses Dove
Emotional passion and kinetic energy encapsulate the powerful yet extremely tender war between the sexes, keeping audiences on the edge of their seats with a daredevil display. With music by Laurie Anderson and Peter Gabriel, Bad Blood was the precursor to two other Dove ballets on the same theme, Episodes and Urban Folk Dance.
Polish Pieces by Hans van Manen
In this exuberant ensemble work, Dutch choreographer van Manen displays his mastery for building dazzling creations from simple motifs and geometric patterns. Driven by the rhythms of Henryk Gorecki's score, the dancers come together and disperse in endlessly shifting formations that culminate in two sensual pas de deux.


LIFT by Aszure Barton
Barton's first creation for the company, a kinetic work driven by the dancers' intoxicating energy and heart, features an original, percussive score by Curtis Macdonald. A much sought-after dance maker whose choreography runs the gamut from Baryshnikov to Broadway, Barton has a style that is "vulnerable and feisty, brightly adept yet peculiar, witty and impetuously wild" (Dance Magazine).

Caught by David Parsons
In Parsons's signature solo work of split-second timing and athletic stamina, flashing lights capture a dancer in more than 100 leaps, suspending him perpetually in mid-motion without ever touching the ground. The effect is a stunning suspension of weight in which the dancer appears to fly through the air, devouring space before magically returning to rest center stage.

Revelations by Alvin Ailey
Using African American spirituals, song-sermons, gospel songs, and holy blues, Ailey's Revelations fervently explores the places of deepest grief and holiest joy in the soul. More than just a popular dance work, it has become a cultural treasure, beloved by generations of fans. Seeing Revelations for the first time or the hundredth can be a transcendent experience, with audiences cheering, singing along, and dancing in their seats from the opening notes of the plaintive "I Been 'Buked" to the rousing "Wade in the Water" and the triumphant finale, "Rocka My Soul in the Bosom of Abraham."


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Watch and Listen

Ailey 2013-14 Season Video

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater has performed for over 23 million people in 48 states and in 71 countries on 6 continents, celebrating the African-American cultural experience and the American modern dance tradition.
Alvin Ailey’s Revelations

Alvin Ailey said that one of America’s richest treasures was the cultural heritage of the African-American - ”sometimes sorrowful, sometimes jubilant, but always hopeful.” This enduring classic is a tribute to that heritage and to Ailey’s genius. Using African-American spirituals, this suite fervently explores the places of deepest grief and holiest joy in the soul.

Hans van Manen's Polish Pieces

In this exuberant ensemble work, Dutch choreographer van Manen displays his mastery for building dazzling creations from simple motifs and geometric patterns. Driven by the rhythms of Henryk Górecki’s score, the dancers come together and disperse in endlessly shifting formations that culminate in two sensual pas de deux.

The Making of Aszure Barton’s Lift

Documentary short for Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, 2013-2014 season.

The Making of Matthew Rushing's Odetta

Go behind the scenes of the world premiere of Matthew Rushing's ODETTA, choreographed by guest artist and Ailey Rehearsal Director Matthew Rushing. The new work pays tribute to Odetta Holmes, the singer, songwriter and civil rights activist known as “the

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