Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s five-week engagement at New York City Center continues this week with the world premiere of MacArthur “Genius” Kyle Abraham’s Untitled America on Wednesday, December 7th, 2016. A three-part suite, Untitled America shines a light on the lasting impact of the prison system on African-American families and individuals. Using Abraham’s signature avant-garde aesthetic, the work was developed over three seasons and features haunting interviews by those impacted by incarceration.
A new production of Billy Wilson’s The Winter in Lisbon debuts on Thursday, December 8th, paying tribute to consummate jazz musician Dizzy Gillespie. The Winter in Lisbon evokes an atmosphere in which the dancers challenge, tease, and pursue romance against a backdrop of rhythm and color. Dizzy Gillespie’s brilliant music sets the tone for this sizzling ballet celebrating four decades of his work.
Friday, December 9th marks the world premiere of Ailey dancer Hope Boykin’s r-Evolution, Dream., inspired by the sermons and speeches of Martin Luther King Jr. during a visit to the National Center for Civil and Human Rights in Atlanta. Boykin’s large ensemble work features members of Ailey II and melds creative storytelling, new music composed by Ali Jackson (Jazz at Lincoln Center), and historic and original writings narrated by Tony Award winner Leslie Odom, Jr. (Hamilton).
Other highlights this week include: “Ailey Fit at New York City Center,” an adrenaline-filled 45-minute Ailey Extension sample class exclusively for young New Yorkers on Friday, December 9th at 6:30 p.m.; “All Ailey” program comprised of works choreographed by the Company’s legendary founder on Saturday, December 10th 2016, at 8 p.m.; and “All New” program featuring three season premieres on Sunday, December 11th at 7:30 p.m.
UPCOMING PERFORMANCE HIGHLIGHTS:
UNTITLED AMERICA – WORLD PREMIERE
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 7TH
In this haunting three-part suite, MacArthur “Genius” Kyle Abraham shines a light on the impact of the prison system on African-American families. Developed over three seasons, the work features interviews by those impacted by incarceration. Laura Mvula’s touching “Father, Father,” the traditional spiritual “No More My Lord,” contemporary music by Raime, and other musical compositions underscore Abraham’s distinct movement style and signature avant-garde aesthetic. Wendy Perron of Dance Magazine praised the first installment of Untitled America by saying, “This is something our culture should be looking at…Kudos to Ailey—and Abraham—for keeping the revelations relevant.”
Performance Dates: December 7, 11 eve, 15, 18 mat, 24 eve, 30 eve
THE WINTER IN LISBON – NEW PRODUCTION
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 8TH
The Winter in Lisbon is a sizzling, sensuous ballet celebrating four decades of Dizzy Gillespie’s brilliant music. Choreographed in 1992 by Billy Wilson, the work pays tribute to Mr. Gillespie, the consummate jazz musician, creating an atmosphere in which the dancers challenge, tease and romance against a backdrop of rhythm and color. Wilson’s exuberant, playful ballet was conceived in celebration of Gillespie’s birthday after Artistic Director Emerita Judith Jamison was approached by the musician’s management to create a dance for his music. Confident in Wilson’s ability to blend his eclectic ballet and modern dance training with the boisterous sound of Gillespie’s music, Jamison commissioned him to bring the project to life. “It’s a celebration of life,” explains Ailey’s Associate Artistic Director Masazumi Chaya, who restaged the work. “It’s fun, it’s full of energy, it’s about life going on.”
Performance Dates: Dec 8, 10 mat, 15, 17 eve, 28 eve
R-EVOLUTION, DREAM. – WORLD PREMIERE
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 9TH
Veteran Company member Hope Boykin has been inspired by the sermons and speeches of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to create r-Evolution, Dream., in which the Ailey dancers will be joined by members of Ailey II. Ms. Boykin began to immerse herself in this historical material after a visit to the National Center for Civil and Human Rights in Atlanta, during Ailey’s U.S. tour. Convinced of the timely relevance of the messages, she is staging a large ensemble work that melds creative storytelling, new music composed by Ali Jackson (Jazz at Lincoln Center), and historic and original writings narrated by Tony Award winner Leslie Odom, Jr. (Hamilton).
Performance Dates: Dec 9, 11 mat, 17 mat & eve, 20, 21, 28 eve
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 10TH AT 8 P.M.
This program is comprised entirely of works by the Company’s legendary founder, including Cry, Blues Suite, Love Songs, Masekala Language, Memoria, Night Creature, and Revelations.
Performance Dates: Dec 10 eve, 13, 16, 18 eve, 21 mat, 28 mat, 31 mat
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 11TH AT 7:30 P.M.
This special program contains season premieres, including Johan Inger’s Walking Mad, Kyle Abraham’s Untitled America, Mauro Bigonzetti’sDeep, Billy Wilson’s The Winter in Lisbon, and Hope Boykin’s r-Evolution, Dream.
Performance Dates: Dec 11 eve, 15, 17 eve, 21 eve, 30 eve
OTHER WEEK 2 HIGHLIGHTS:
“AILEY FIT AT CITY CENTER” – YOUNG NEW YORK SPECIAL EVENT
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 9TH AT 6:30 P.M.
Young ticket-holders are invited to arrive 90 minutes before the 8 p.m. performance for a heart-pumping 45-minute class taught by Ailey Extension instructors. The Young New York program is a multi-year audience development project to engage people between the ages of 21-30 through a series of special events and ticket offers, supported by The Wallace Foundation.
FAMILY MATINEE SERIES
On Saturday afternoon, bring the whole family to enjoy the performance and stay for a FREE Q&A with the acclaimed Ailey dancers in the theater after the performance.
Performance Dates: Dec 10 mat, 17 mat, 24 mat
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, 405 West 55th Street, New York, NY 10019, www.alvinailey.org, 212.555.1414.
Photo by: Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in Kyle Abraham’s Untitled America. Photo by Paul Kolnik.