Alvin Ailey® American Dance Theater 2016
6 September - 19 October

UK Tour Programme 2016: What's showing where...

Birmingham Hippodrome / Festival Theatre Edinburgh / Mayflower Theatre Southampton / Sadler’s Wells London / Theatre Royal and Royal Concert Hall Nottingham with Dance 4 / Theatre Royal Plymouth / Wales Millennium Centre Cardiff

Exodus (UK première)

Choreography: Rennie HarrisAssistant Choreographer: Nina FlaggLighting Designer: James ClotfelterCostume Designer: Jon TaylorRehearsal Director: Nina FlaggMusic: Raphael XavierRunning time: 20 minutesWorld Première: 2015Further Info: Acclaimed hip-hop choreographer Rennie (Lorenzo) Harris creates a highly-anticipated world premiere that explores the idea of “exodus” – from one’s ignorance and conformity – as a necessary step toward enlightenment. Set to gospel and house music along with spoken word, the work underscores the crucial role of action and movement in effecting change. Exemplifying his view of hip hop as a “celebration of life,” Exodus marks Harris’ latest invitation to return to spiritual basics and affirm who we are. His previous contributions to the Ailey repertory include Home (2011) and Love Stories (2004), an acclaimed collaboration with Judith Jamison and Robert Battle.

“Harris has become the Basquiat of the US contemporary dance scene.”
The Sunday Times, London

"...the virtuosic footwork, the marvelous undulations of the hips and, above all, the intricate patterns of Mr. Harris's choreographic formations. He knows how to move bodies in space, how to layer his phrases and, above all, how to make dancers look good."
The New York Times

Photo: Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater's Jeroboam Bozeman and Chalvar Monteiro in Rennie Harris' Exodus


Four Corners (UK première)

Choreography: Ronald K. BrownAssistant Choreographer: Arcell CabuagLighting Designer: Al CrawfordCostume Designer: Omotayo Wunmi OlaiyaMusic: Carl Hancock Rux, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, and YacoubRunning time: 24 minutesWorld Première: 2013Further Info: Four Corners, set to the music of Carl Hancock Rux, brings to life the vision of four angels standing on the four corners of the earth holding the four winds. Drawing inspiration from the lyrics of Rux’s “Lamentations,” Four Corners trails eleven dancers as they rise to seek a life of peace on the “mountaintop;” a powerful and hope-filled journey of tribulation, devotion and triumph. Ronald K. Brown is renowned for his signature blend of modern dance and West African idioms in works that often stimulate deeper examinations of issues of spirituality, community responsibility and liberation.

“…spectacular… continues the trend confirming Brown as one of today’s most important dance makers...The dance is magnificently layered.”
The Star-Ledger

“…you see dancers fulfilling their potential and choreography performed with backbone.”
The New York Times

“…able to give the virtuosic dancers of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater works as powerful as their technique… his compositions are hard to resist.”
The New Yorker

Photo: Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater's Belen Pereyra in Ronald K Brown's Four Corners. Photo by Paul Kolnik


After the Rain Pas de Deux (Ailey UK première)

Choreography: Christopher WheeldonLighting Designer: Mark StanleyCostume Designer: Holly HynesMusic: Arvo PärtRestaging: Jason FowlerRunning time: 9 minutesWorld Première: December 5 2014Further Info: A ballet in two parts, the second section of Christopher Wheeldon’s After the Rain is a male-female pas de deux that has become a standalone piece. Praised for its sublime simplicity and intricate partnering, it reveals itself in a fresh light as the Ailey dancers make it their own. Set to music by the Estonian composer Arvo Pärt, the sensual duet has resonated deeply with audiences and is the first work by Christopher Wheeldon to enter the Ailey repertory. Dance Magazine described After the Rain as “an intelligently, masterfully choreographed ballet that strikes an emotional chord. The still point at the heart of the work lingers long after the curtain has descended.”

“The body language suggests intimacy and, on the woman’s part, aspects of abandon and ecstasy.”
The New York Times

“Rare is the ballet that resonates so profoundly with audiences that it becomes an instant hit.”
Dance Magazine

Photo: Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater's Akua Noni Parker and Jamar Roberts in Christopher Wheeldon's After the Rain Pas de Deux. Photo by Paul Kolnik

Revelations (Ailey Classic)

Choreography: Alvin AileyLighting Designer: Nicola CernovitchCostume Designer: Ves Harper / Barbara Forbes (“Rocka My Soul” redesign)Décor: Ves HarperMusic: Traditional SpiritualsRunning time: 36 minutesFurther Info: Since its creation in 1960, Revelations has consistently enraptured audiences all over the world with the perfect blend of reverent grace and spiritual elation. The piece zealously explores the emotional spectrum of the human condition, from the deepest of grief to the holiest of joy. Of its creation, Ailey once recalled: “First I did it chronologically, leading off with the opening part of Revelations, which was the earliest in time. It was about trying to get up out of the ground. The costumes and the set would be colored brown, an earth color, for coming out of the earth, for going into the earth. The second part was something that was very close to me- the baptismal, the purification rite. Its colors would be white and pale blue. Then there would be the section surrounding the gospel church, the holy rollers and all the church happiness. Its colors would be earth tones, yellow and black.”
After five decades, this American classic has become a cultural treasure, seen by more people around the world than any other modern work and beloved by generations of fans. Seeing Revelations for the first time or the hundredth can be a transcendent experience, with audiences around the world cheering, singing along and dancing in their seats.

Photo: Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in Alvin Ailey's Revelations. Photo by Paul Kolnik

Birmingham Hippodrome / Festival Theatre Edinburgh / Sadler’s Wells London

Open Door (UK première)

Choreography: Ronald K. BrownAssistant Choreographer: Arcell CabuagLighting Designer: Al CrawfordCostume Designer: Keiko VoltaireMusic: Luis Demetrio, Arturo O’Farrill, Tito PuenteRunning time: 26 minutesWorld Première: December 2 2015Further Info: Acclaimed choreographer Ronald K. Brown’s Cuban-inspired Open Door is a work for 10 dancers set to the music of Arturo O’Farrill and the Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra, including songs from their recently released Cuba: The Conversation Continues. Brown’s travels to Cuba inspired much of the movement, from the salsa partnering to the references to Elegba – the Santería god who opens pathways. The title hints at the power of dance and music as vehicles for culture and compassion.

Photo: Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater's Matthew Rushing and Linda Celeste Sims in Ronald K Brown's Open Door. Photo by Paul Kolnik.

Piazzolla Caldera (Ailey UK première)

Choreography: Paul TaylorLighting Designer: Jennifer TiptonCostume Designer: Santo LoquastoDécor: Santo LoquastoMusic: Astor Piazzolla and Jerzy PeterburshskyRestaging: Richard Chen SeeRunning time: 23 minutesSet Design: Santo LoquastoWorld Première: 2015Further Info: Created in 1997, Paul Taylor’s Piazzolla Caldera is a sensual exposé of tango as reinterpreted and reimagined with modern dance. Taylor honors the tradition of tango, preserving the essence of the form in his choreography. The music, composed by Astor Piazzolla and Jerzy Peterburshsky, shapes the work into four distinct sections, a complex and electric landscape where dancers can sway and swivel through the arts of both tango and modern dance. In a dimly lit club, working class men and women confront each other in sizzling sexual duets and trios: men with women, men with men, and women with women. Two men too drunk for conquests perform a loopy dance as lamplights sway dizzily overhead. A woman, who has searched desperately for a partner but failed to find one, collapses – as if mortally wounded by a night without passion. Men and women engage in a series of fiery encounters, in turns playful and predatory, in this passionate homage to tango’s Argentinian working class roots.

“‘Piazzolla Caldera’… is a work whose complexities suggest why Mr. Taylor remains such a fresh and important artist after more than four decades. … The dancing itself seems to occur outside of time, furling and unfurling kaleidoscopically. … Mr. Taylor’s choreographic invention is quietly dazzling.”
The New York Times

“Stunning. Taylor looks at the attitudes implicit of the tango—as sexual game, as social identity—and reshapes them. Seethes and flares with sexuality and develops a huge erotic charge. One of Taylor’s most astonishing (even for him) creations.”
Financial Times of London

“The construction of ‘Piazzolla Caldera’ (which always wins a warm ovation from the audience) is impressive.”
The New York Times

Photo: Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in Paul Taylors Piazzolla Caldera. Photo by Paul Kolnik

Revelations (Ailey Classic)

Choreography: Alvin AileyLighting Designer: Nicola CernovitchCostume Designer: Ves Harper / Barbara Forbes (“Rocka My Soul” redesign)Décor: Ves HarperMusic: Traditional SpiritualsRunning time: 36 minutesFurther Info: Since its creation in 1960, Revelations has consistently enraptured audiences all over the world with the perfect blend of reverent grace and spiritual elation. The piece zealously explores the emotional spectrum of the human condition, from the deepest of grief to the holiest of joy. Of its creation, Ailey once recalled: “First I did it chronologically, leading off with the opening part of Revelations, which was the earliest in time. It was about trying to get up out of the ground. The costumes and the set would be colored brown, an earth color, for coming out of the earth, for going into the earth. The second part was something that was very close to me- the baptismal, the purification rite. Its colors would be white and pale blue. Then there would be the section surrounding the gospel church, the holy rollers and all the church happiness. Its colors would be earth tones, yellow and black.”
After five decades, this American classic has become a cultural treasure, seen by more people around the world than any other modern work and beloved by generations of fans. Seeing Revelations for the first time or the hundredth can be a transcendent experience, with audiences around the world cheering, singing along and dancing in their seats.

Photo: Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in Alvin Ailey's Revelations. Photo by Paul Kolnik

Sadler’s Wells London

LIFT (UK première)

Choreography: Aszure BartonAssistant Choreographer: Jonathan Emanuell Alsberry & William BriscoeLighting Designer: Burke BrownCostume Designer: Fritz MastenMusic: Curtis MacdonaldRunning time: 26 minutesWorld Première: 2013Further Info: Robert Battle commissioned in-demand choreographer Aszure Barton to create a world premiere on Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater for their 2013-2014 season. Set to an original, percussive score by musical collaborator Curtis Macdonald, the body of music, like the work itself, is inspired and driven by the energy of the dancers. With a collaborative stylistic approach that is constantly evolving like no other, Barton’s exhilarating conversation and relationship with Ailey’s renowned dancers informs the process, movement, composition and atmosphere of the creation by a wonderful group of artists. Dance Magazine described her work as “vulnerable and feisty, brightly adept yet peculiar, witty and impetuously wild.”

“I rarely enter the studio with a fixed "concept" that the dancers have to fit into. I am far more interested in getting to know the artists and allowing the conversation and relationship with them to inform the process, the movement, composition, atmosphere and organization. In preparation for the work, I had the pleasure of observing the dancers in rehearsal and performances while they were on tour. I was deeply moved by their skill, passion, form, strength, beauty and power, both physically and emotionally. I then met with my collaborator, composer Curtis MacDonald, and together we built a body of music / sounds driven by the energy the dancers had so generously shared… The piece will not be about an "idea", but will embody an atmosphere created by our time spent together.”—Aszure Barton [on working with Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater]

“…Barton is one of the most promising and consistently commissioned young choreographers in modern dance and ballet. She has the sort of infectious enthusiasm you might find in a favorite camp counselor, and her work is just as inviting: Not abstruse or overly clever, it fuses elegant fluidity with simple everyday gestures.”
New York Magazine

“Aszure's teaching, like her choreography and her dancing, is fearless. She's a risk taker and a speaker of truths.”
The Palm Beach Daily News

Photo: Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in Aszure Bartons LIFT. Photo by Paul Kolnik

Awakening (UK première)

Choreography: Robert BattleAssistant Choreographer: Marlena Wolfe, Elisa ClarkLighting Designer: Al CrawfordCostume Designer: Jon TaylorMusic: John MackeyRunning time: 18 minutesWorld Première: 2015Further Info: Awakening is a work featuring Robert Battle’s signature taut, ritualistic choreographic style and a score by American composer John Mackey. Buoyed by the complex rhythmic quality of Mackey’s music, a dozen Ailey dancers lead the audience on a cathartic journey in this powerful dance of dissonance and harmony, chaos and resolution. Awakening is the first world premiere created by Robert Battle since he became Artistic Director and his ninth work to enter the Ailey repertory.

Photo: Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in Robert Battle's Awakening. Photo by Paul Kolnik

Cry (Ailey Classic)

Choreography: Alvin AileyLighting Designer: Chenault SpenceCostume Designer: Christina GianniniMusic: Alice Coltrane, Laura Nyro and Chuck GriffinRestaging: Masazumi ChayaRunning time: 17 minutesWorld Première: 2015Further Info: In 1971, Alvin Ailey choreographed the ballet, Cry, as a birthday present for his mother; it went on to become an enduring work of American art. This 17-minute solo, which was first danced by the legendary Judith Jamison, is dedicated to “all black women everywhere – especially our mothers.” The solo is made up of three parts – the first set to Alice Coltrane’s “Something about John Coltrane,” the second to Laura Nyro’s “Been on a Train” and the last has the Voices of East Harlem singing “Right On, Be Free.” The female soloist represents all black women, depicting their African origins, the trials and tribulations they have endured and their joyful triumph over those hardships. When Cry premiered at New York City Center in 1971, it was an immediate sensation. It propelled Judith Jamison, who is now the Artistic Director Emerita of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and was Ailey’s muse for Cry, to international stardom in the dance world.

“the first-night audience… applauded and cheered it for nearly 10 minutes.”
The New York Times

“…most of all, the piece is probably the closest dance has ever come to a shout - or cry - of pure anger, pain and exultation.”
The New York Times

“…one of Ailey’s masterpieces… Cry is Ailey’s tribute to black women everywhere – their joys, their sorrows, their hardships, their strength. The work… never pales.”
The Atlanta Constitution

Photo: Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre's Jacqueline Green in Alvin Ailey's Cry. Photo by Paul Kolnik

Revelations (Ailey Classic)

Choreography: Alvin AileyLighting Designer: Nicola CernovitchCostume Designer: Ves Harper / Barbara Forbes (“Rocka My Soul” redesign)Décor: Ves HarperMusic: Traditional SpiritualsRunning time: 36 minutesFurther Info: Since its creation in 1960, Revelations has consistently enraptured audiences all over the world with the perfect blend of reverent grace and spiritual elation. The piece zealously explores the emotional spectrum of the human condition, from the deepest of grief to the holiest of joy. Of its creation, Ailey once recalled: “First I did it chronologically, leading off with the opening part of Revelations, which was the earliest in time. It was about trying to get up out of the ground. The costumes and the set would be colored brown, an earth color, for coming out of the earth, for going into the earth. The second part was something that was very close to me- the baptismal, the purification rite. Its colors would be white and pale blue. Then there would be the section surrounding the gospel church, the holy rollers and all the church happiness. Its colors would be earth tones, yellow and black.”
After five decades, this American classic has become a cultural treasure, seen by more people around the world than any other modern work and beloved by generations of fans. Seeing Revelations for the first time or the hundredth can be a transcendent experience, with audiences around the world cheering, singing along and dancing in their seats.

Photo: Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in Alvin Ailey's Revelations. Photo by Paul Kolnik

Alhambra Theatre Bradford / Marlowe Theatre Canterbury

Exodus (UK première)

Choreography: Rennie HarrisAssistant Choreographer: Nina FlaggLighting Designer: James ClotfelterCostume Designer: Jon TaylorRehearsal Director: Nina FlaggMusic: Raphael XavierRunning time: 20 minutesWorld Première: 2015Further Info: Acclaimed hip-hop choreographer Rennie (Lorenzo) Harris creates a highly-anticipated world premiere that explores the idea of “exodus” – from one’s ignorance and conformity – as a necessary step toward enlightenment. Set to gospel and house music along with spoken word, the work underscores the crucial role of action and movement in effecting change. Exemplifying his view of hip hop as a “celebration of life,” Exodus marks Harris’ latest invitation to return to spiritual basics and affirm who we are. His previous contributions to the Ailey repertory include Home (2011) and Love Stories (2004), an acclaimed collaboration with Judith Jamison and Robert Battle.

“Harris has become the Basquiat of the US contemporary dance scene.”
The Sunday Times, London

"...the virtuosic footwork, the marvelous undulations of the hips and, above all, the intricate patterns of Mr. Harris's choreographic formations. He knows how to move bodies in space, how to layer his phrases and, above all, how to make dancers look good."
The New York Times

Photo: Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater's Jeroboam Bozeman and Chalvar Monteiro in Rennie Harris' Exodus


Night Creature (Ailey Classic)

Choreography: Alvin AileyLighting Designer: Chenault SpenceCostume Designer: Jane Greenwood / Recreated by Barbara Forbes / Fabric dyeing by Elissa Tatigikis IbertiMusic: Duke EllingtonRunning time: 17 minutesFurther Info: “Night creatures, unlike stars, do not come OUT at night-- they come ON, each thinking that before the night is out he or she will be the star.”
Duke Ellington

In Night Creature, Alvin Ailey’s classically influenced choreography juxtaposes with Duke Ellington’s jazz idiom. One of Mr. Ailey’s most popular works, the dance captivates with Ailey’s sensual nighttime rituals, propelling the movement into a fastpaced climatic catharsis using slow jazz walks, boogie woogie and ballet arabesques to create prowling patterns and communal configurations.

“One of Mr. Ailey’s happiest works. It has a joyful pulse, a sophisticated entente with its sophisticated music that carries on the best of the Ellington tradition.”
The New York Times

“delectably sassy”
The New York Times

“This remains one of Ailey’s best curtain raisers, and the company throw themselves into its elf-like spirit with only rhythmic measure containing their dance abandon.”
The New York Post

Photo: Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in Alvin Ailey's Night Creature. Photo by Paul Kolnik

After the Rain Pas de Deux (Ailey UK première)

Choreography: Christopher WheeldonLighting Designer: Mark StanleyCostume Designer: Holly HynesMusic: Arvo PärtRestaging: Jason FowlerRunning time: 9 minutesWorld Première: December 5 2014Further Info: A ballet in two parts, the second section of Christopher Wheeldon’s After the Rain is a male-female pas de deux that has become a standalone piece. Praised for its sublime simplicity and intricate partnering, it reveals itself in a fresh light as the Ailey dancers make it their own. Set to music by the Estonian composer Arvo Pärt, the sensual duet has resonated deeply with audiences and is the first work by Christopher Wheeldon to enter the Ailey repertory. Dance Magazine described After the Rain as “an intelligently, masterfully choreographed ballet that strikes an emotional chord. The still point at the heart of the work lingers long after the curtain has descended.”

“The body language suggests intimacy and, on the woman’s part, aspects of abandon and ecstasy.”
The New York Times

“Rare is the ballet that resonates so profoundly with audiences that it becomes an instant hit.”
Dance Magazine

Photo: Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater's Akua Noni Parker and Jamar Roberts in Christopher Wheeldon's After the Rain Pas de Deux. Photo by Paul Kolnik

Revelations (Ailey Classic)

Choreography: Alvin AileyLighting Designer: Nicola CernovitchCostume Designer: Ves Harper / Barbara Forbes (“Rocka My Soul” redesign)Décor: Ves HarperMusic: Traditional SpiritualsRunning time: 36 minutesFurther Info: Since its creation in 1960, Revelations has consistently enraptured audiences all over the world with the perfect blend of reverent grace and spiritual elation. The piece zealously explores the emotional spectrum of the human condition, from the deepest of grief to the holiest of joy. Of its creation, Ailey once recalled: “First I did it chronologically, leading off with the opening part of Revelations, which was the earliest in time. It was about trying to get up out of the ground. The costumes and the set would be colored brown, an earth color, for coming out of the earth, for going into the earth. The second part was something that was very close to me- the baptismal, the purification rite. Its colors would be white and pale blue. Then there would be the section surrounding the gospel church, the holy rollers and all the church happiness. Its colors would be earth tones, yellow and black.”
After five decades, this American classic has become a cultural treasure, seen by more people around the world than any other modern work and beloved by generations of fans. Seeing Revelations for the first time or the hundredth can be a transcendent experience, with audiences around the world cheering, singing along and dancing in their seats.

Photo: Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in Alvin Ailey's Revelations. Photo by Paul Kolnik

The Lowry Salford Quays

LIFT (UK première)

Choreography: Aszure BartonAssistant Choreographer: Jonathan Emanuell Alsberry & William BriscoeLighting Designer: Burke BrownCostume Designer: Fritz MastenMusic: Curtis MacdonaldRunning time: 26 minutesWorld Première: 2013Further Info: Robert Battle commissioned in-demand choreographer Aszure Barton to create a world premiere on Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater for their 2013-2014 season. Set to an original, percussive score by musical collaborator Curtis Macdonald, the body of music, like the work itself, is inspired and driven by the energy of the dancers. With a collaborative stylistic approach that is constantly evolving like no other, Barton’s exhilarating conversation and relationship with Ailey’s renowned dancers informs the process, movement, composition and atmosphere of the creation by a wonderful group of artists. Dance Magazine described her work as “vulnerable and feisty, brightly adept yet peculiar, witty and impetuously wild.”

“I rarely enter the studio with a fixed "concept" that the dancers have to fit into. I am far more interested in getting to know the artists and allowing the conversation and relationship with them to inform the process, the movement, composition, atmosphere and organization. In preparation for the work, I had the pleasure of observing the dancers in rehearsal and performances while they were on tour. I was deeply moved by their skill, passion, form, strength, beauty and power, both physically and emotionally. I then met with my collaborator, composer Curtis MacDonald, and together we built a body of music / sounds driven by the energy the dancers had so generously shared… The piece will not be about an "idea", but will embody an atmosphere created by our time spent together.”—Aszure Barton [on working with Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater]

“…Barton is one of the most promising and consistently commissioned young choreographers in modern dance and ballet. She has the sort of infectious enthusiasm you might find in a favorite camp counselor, and her work is just as inviting: Not abstruse or overly clever, it fuses elegant fluidity with simple everyday gestures.”
New York Magazine

“Aszure's teaching, like her choreography and her dancing, is fearless. She's a risk taker and a speaker of truths.”
The Palm Beach Daily News

Photo: Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in Aszure Bartons LIFT. Photo by Paul Kolnik

Four Corners (UK première)

Choreography: Ronald K. BrownAssistant Choreographer: Arcell CabuagLighting Designer: Al CrawfordCostume Designer: Omotayo Wunmi OlaiyaMusic: Carl Hancock Rux, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, and YacoubRunning time: 24 minutesWorld Première: 2013Further Info: Four Corners, set to the music of Carl Hancock Rux, brings to life the vision of four angels standing on the four corners of the earth holding the four winds. Drawing inspiration from the lyrics of Rux’s “Lamentations,” Four Corners trails eleven dancers as they rise to seek a life of peace on the “mountaintop;” a powerful and hope-filled journey of tribulation, devotion and triumph. Ronald K. Brown is renowned for his signature blend of modern dance and West African idioms in works that often stimulate deeper examinations of issues of spirituality, community responsibility and liberation.

“…spectacular… continues the trend confirming Brown as one of today’s most important dance makers...The dance is magnificently layered.”
The Star-Ledger

“…you see dancers fulfilling their potential and choreography performed with backbone.”
The New York Times

“…able to give the virtuosic dancers of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater works as powerful as their technique… his compositions are hard to resist.”
The New Yorker

Photo: Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater's Belen Pereyra in Ronald K Brown's Four Corners. Photo by Paul Kolnik


Cry (Ailey Classic)

Choreography: Alvin AileyLighting Designer: Chenault SpenceCostume Designer: Christina GianniniMusic: Alice Coltrane, Laura Nyro and Chuck GriffinRestaging: Masazumi ChayaRunning time: 17 minutesWorld Première: 2015Further Info: In 1971, Alvin Ailey choreographed the ballet, Cry, as a birthday present for his mother; it went on to become an enduring work of American art. This 17-minute solo, which was first danced by the legendary Judith Jamison, is dedicated to “all black women everywhere – especially our mothers.” The solo is made up of three parts – the first set to Alice Coltrane’s “Something about John Coltrane,” the second to Laura Nyro’s “Been on a Train” and the last has the Voices of East Harlem singing “Right On, Be Free.” The female soloist represents all black women, depicting their African origins, the trials and tribulations they have endured and their joyful triumph over those hardships. When Cry premiered at New York City Center in 1971, it was an immediate sensation. It propelled Judith Jamison, who is now the Artistic Director Emerita of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and was Ailey’s muse for Cry, to international stardom in the dance world.

“the first-night audience… applauded and cheered it for nearly 10 minutes.”
The New York Times

“…most of all, the piece is probably the closest dance has ever come to a shout - or cry - of pure anger, pain and exultation.”
The New York Times

“…one of Ailey’s masterpieces… Cry is Ailey’s tribute to black women everywhere – their joys, their sorrows, their hardships, their strength. The work… never pales.”
The Atlanta Constitution

Photo: Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre's Jacqueline Green in Alvin Ailey's Cry. Photo by Paul Kolnik

Revelations (Ailey Classic)

Choreography: Alvin AileyLighting Designer: Nicola CernovitchCostume Designer: Ves Harper / Barbara Forbes (“Rocka My Soul” redesign)Décor: Ves HarperMusic: Traditional SpiritualsRunning time: 36 minutesFurther Info: Since its creation in 1960, Revelations has consistently enraptured audiences all over the world with the perfect blend of reverent grace and spiritual elation. The piece zealously explores the emotional spectrum of the human condition, from the deepest of grief to the holiest of joy. Of its creation, Ailey once recalled: “First I did it chronologically, leading off with the opening part of Revelations, which was the earliest in time. It was about trying to get up out of the ground. The costumes and the set would be colored brown, an earth color, for coming out of the earth, for going into the earth. The second part was something that was very close to me- the baptismal, the purification rite. Its colors would be white and pale blue. Then there would be the section surrounding the gospel church, the holy rollers and all the church happiness. Its colors would be earth tones, yellow and black.”
After five decades, this American classic has become a cultural treasure, seen by more people around the world than any other modern work and beloved by generations of fans. Seeing Revelations for the first time or the hundredth can be a transcendent experience, with audiences around the world cheering, singing along and dancing in their seats.

Photo: Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in Alvin Ailey's Revelations. Photo by Paul Kolnik

“Unbelievable. Go see Ailey. It’s change-your-life good.”NBC’s Today Show

“An international powerhouse known for explosive and appealing modern dance.”The Atlanta Journal Constitution

“Some of the most bravura dancers on the planet.”Chicago Sun Times

“The crowd starts cheering before the curtain goes up.”The New York Times

“This is dancing to die for.”The Times (UK)

Reviews