Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
June 17, 2021
Co-sponsored by the Black Cultural Center
Associate Artistic Director
Celebrate over 60 years of unparalleled artistry when Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater comes to Blacksburg! These dancers dazzle with their technical brilliance and passionate energy, bringing audiences to their feet at every performance.
Each evening features a distinct program of new and classic works from the groundbreaking company, as well as founder Alvin Ailey’s masterpiece, Revelations. Check back here in the fall for more details about each evening's repertoire — you may want to see them both!
About the Company
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater grew from a now-fabled performance in March 1958 at the 92nd Street Y in New York City. Led by Ailey and a group of young African American modern dancers, that performance forever changed the perception of American dance. The Ailey company has gone on to perform for an estimated 25 million people at theatres in 48 states and 71 countries on six continents — and has reached millions more online and through television broadcasts. In doing so, the ensemble has grown beyond the limits of the stage to encompass community outreach, cultural diplomacy, and education at all levels.
In 2008 a U.S. Congressional resolution designated the company as “a vital American cultural ambassador to the world” that celebrates the uniqueness of the African American cultural experience and the preservation and enrichment of the American modern dance heritage.
About Alvin Ailey
When Ailey began creating dances, he drew upon his “blood memories” of Texas, the blues, spirituals, and gospel as inspiration, which resulted in the creation of his most popular and critically acclaimed work, Revelations.
Although he created 79 ballets over his lifetime, Ailey maintained that his company was not exclusively a repository for his own work. Today, the company continues Ailey’s mission by presenting important works of the past and commissioning new ones. In all, more than 200 works by over 80 choreographers have been part of the Ailey company’s repertory.
Before his untimely death in 1989, Ailey named Judith Jamison as his successor, and over the next 21 years, she brought the company to unprecedented success. Jamison, in turn, personally selected Robert Battle to succeed her in 2011. In announcing his appointment as artistic director, Jamison stated, “Combining an intimate knowledge of the Ailey company with an independent perspective, Robert Battle is without question the creative force of the future.”
The Ailey Organization includes Ailey II, a second performing company of young dancers and emerging choreographers; The Ailey School, one of the world's most extensive dance training programs; Ailey Arts in Education and Community Programs, which bring dance into classrooms and communities; and Ailey Extension, offering dance and fitness classes to the public.
This is Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater's first performance at the Moss Arts Center.
This performance is supported in part by gifts from Dr. Mark and Connie Froggatt, Ms. Ann Goette, and Dr. James M. Shuler and Ms. Margaret F. Shuler.
Please note, there will be no livestream option for this performance, and program is subject to change.
Main image: Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater's Jacquelin Harris, photo by Dario Calmese
Slideshow, in order: Khalia Campbell in Revelations, photo by Dario Calmese; Chalvar Monteiro and Yannick Lebrun, photo by Dario Calmese; Chalvar Monteiro, photo by Dario Calmese; Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, photo by Paul Kolnik; Jacqueline Green and James Gilmer, photo by Dario Calmese; Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, photo by Dario Calmese; and Samantha Figgins, photo by Dario Calmese