Led by Liberty City native and Artistic Director Robert Battle, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, one of the world’s favorite dance companies, returns to the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County February 14-17, as part of a 21-city U.S. Tour honoring 60 years of Ailey Ascending. Miami native Jamar Roberts, along with 32 of Ailey’s extraordinary dancers, will reveal the power, passion and astonishing beauty that have become a hallmark of the company. Ailey’s Miami engagement is co-presented by the Adrienne Arsht Center as part of the Center’s Knight Masterworks Season – Dance Series, which is offered with support from Knight Foundation.
Robert Battle said, “Alvin Ailey was a pioneer in celebrating the human spirit through the African-American culture and modern dance, elevating the world of the performing arts and the hearts and minds of people of all backgrounds. It is a privilege for me to return home to Miami as we honor his storied legacy by heightening the artistry of our performances and extending the reach of our educational programs. We hope you will join us to be uplifted during the “Ailey Ascending” 60th anniversary season at the Arsht!”
The Thursday, February 14 opening night program (also performed Saturday, 2/16 evening ) will include acclaimed hip-hop choreographer Rennie Harris’ Lazarus, the Company’s first two-act ballet. Inspired by Alvin Ailey’s life and legacy, Harris connects the past and present in the powerful work that addresses the racial inequities America faced when Mr. Ailey founded this company in 1958 and still faces today.
The Friday, February 15 evening program (also performed Saturday, 2/17 matinee evening) will feature the world premiere of 2018 Dance Magazine Award winner Ronald K. Brown’s The Call seamlessly blends modern and West African dance idioms, as “a love letter to Mr. Ailey.” The music includes Johann Sebastian Bach (performed by Chris Thile, Edgar Meyere & Yo-Yo Ma), Mary Lou Williams, and Asase Yaa. A new production will be staged of Artistic Director Robert Battle’s first work for the Company, Juba, a modern day “Rite of Spring” with an abstract twist set to an original score by John Mackey. Wayne McGregor’s Kairos, his second Company premiere (following 2013’s Chroma) feature Idris Khan’s dramatic set design and McGregor’s angular yet sinuous movement on a cast of 10. The title has dual meanings – one being the most opportune time to act, the other weather – and is set to Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons, re-imagined by experimental composer Max Richter.
A Family Matinee on Saturday, February 16 at 2:00 pm, will showcase a special program entitled, “Timeless Ailey,” featuring over a dozen treasures from Mr. Ailey’s wonderfully rich body of work, including highlights of seldom- seen gems The Lark Ascending, Mary Lou’s Mass and Opus McShann as well as perennial favorites like Cry, Love Songs, Night Creature, and Revelations. The family matinee also includes a free post-performance Q & A in the theater with the Ailey dancers for the enjoyment of the entire family.
The inspiring finale of each program is the must-see American masterpiece Revelations. Since its creation in 1960, Revelations has inspired generations through its powerful storytelling and soul-stirring spirituals. Springing from Ailey’s childhood memories of growing up in the south and attending services at Mount Olive Baptist Church in Texas, Revelations pays homage to the rich cultural heritage of the African-American and explores the emotional spectrum of the human condition.
When Alvin Ailey and a small group of African American modern dancers first took the stage at the 92nd Street Y in 1958, the engagement was for one night only—but it turned out to be the start of a new era in the performing arts. Mr. Ailey became one of the groundbreaking greats in African American history, while the work of his Company grew beyond the limits of the stage to encompass education at all levels, community outreach and cultural diplomacy. Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater now embodies six decades of achievement, celebrating the human spirit with performances that unite and inspire all.
Educational Offerings for the Miami Community
The Arsht Center and Ailey will provide various arts education offerings and training opportunities for young people in conjunction with the Company’s Miami engagement.
On Sunday, January 13 at 10:00 am (ages 11-15) and 12:30 pm (ages 16-25), The Ailey School will hold auditions at the New World School of Arts as part of their North American audition tour. The mission of The Ailey School is to make dance accessible to outstanding students – such as South Florida area third-year BFA student Ashley Simpson – through a curriculum of rigorous and diversified dance training. Nearly 70% of current Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater members received their pre-professional training from The Ailey School, including Miami’s own Jamar Roberts.
In addition to Revelations: An Interdisciplinary Approach residency taking place at Lake Stevens Middle School, Night Creature: An Imaginative Journey Through Dance residency will be conducted at Dr. Henry E. Perrine Elementary Academy of the Arts from February 4-8. This innovative curriculum-based initiative uses Mr. Ailey’s Night Creature, set to a sparkling score by jazz legend Duke Ellington, as a framework for young students to explore the power of their imaginations through writing poetry, drawing, and creating their own choreography.
On Friday, February 15 at 11:00 am, a special one-hour performance featuring The Call and Revelations will be offered by the Arsht Center and Ailey at no cost to approximately 2,000 public school students in the Miami-Dade County area, including the Liberty City neighborhood where Robert Battle grew up.
On Saturday, February 16 at 2:00 pm, alumni from AileyCamp Miami have been invited to attend the Family Matinee performance and participate in a reunion pre-performance. AileyCamp Miami is a nationally-acclaimed summer program hosted by the Arsht Center since 2009 that uses dance as a vehicle to help middle school students ages 11-14 to reach their full potential.
Additional educational offerings will be announced in early 2019.
60 years after its founding, Ailey continues to move forward under the leadership of Robert Battle, revealing time and again why Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater is one of the world’s most beloved dance companies. Visit www.alvinailey.org or www.arshtcenter.org for tickets and further information on Ailey’s milestone season in Miami.
2019 Miami Engagement Program Thursday, February 14, 2019 at 8:00pm
Lazarus / Revelations
Friday, February 15, 2019 at 11:00am (student performance)
Excerpts TBD / Revelations Friday, February 15, 2019 at 8:00pm
Kairos / The Call, Juba / Revelations
Saturday, February 16, 2019 at 2:00pm – Family Matinee (followed by free post-performance Q & A with Ailey dancers)
Timeless Ailey (including Revelations) Saturday, February 16, 2019 at 8:00pm
Lazarus / Revelations
Sunday, February 17, 2019 at 2:00pm
Kairos / The Call, Juba / Revelations
Tickets starting at $29 are now on sale at arshtcenter.org or (305)949-6722. Group can save up to 30% off by calling (786) 468-2326, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or visit online request form. Save 20% on tickets or more with the code HOLIDAY, valid through December 24, 2018. Discounted tickets are also available for students with an appropriate id for all performances. The Arsht Center’s UTIX program provides discounted student tickets to many shows at the Arsht. Visit the UTIX webpage for details.
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater – February 14 – 17, 2019
Ziff Ballet Opera House
Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County 1300 Biscayne Boulevard, Miami, FL 33132
Prices, artists, dates, times, and program are subject to change without notice.