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#AlvinAiley celebrates 60 years! The renowned dance troupe returns to @KimmelCenter following a sold out engagement in 2017. The performance will showcase #Lazarus – the incredible new work of Philly choreographer @RennieHRHAW on 3/1-3/2. More info @ kimmelcenter.org
ALVIN AILEY AMERICAN DANCE THEATER CELEBRATES
60 YEARS OF EXCELLENCE WITH THE PHILADELPHIA PREMIERE
OF RENNIE HARRIS’ NEWEST WORK LAZARUS AND OTHER ACCLAIMED WORKS, MARCH 1-2, 2019
“’Lazarus’ brings Ailey back to life by showing why he still matters to a living artist of Mr. Harris’s caliber.” – The New York Times
“Robert Battle [is]…throwing open the doors to an array of new choreographers… [he] isn’t afraid of making a big noise.” – The New Yorker
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (Philadelphia, PA, January 31, 2019) – Renowned for celebrating human spirit through the African American cultural experience and the American modern dance tradition, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater returns to the Kimmel Center Cultural Campus, following a sold-out engagement in 2017. The renowned dance company led by Artistic Director Robert Battle and featuring Ailey’s extraordinary dancers will bring three performances to the Academy of Music on Friday, March 1 and Saturday, March 2, 2019. This year’s repertoire includes the Philadelphia premiere of Lazarus, the company’s first two-act ballet, choreographedby Philadelphia’s own Rennie Harris, as well as beloved classics including Ailey’s seminal work, the American classic, Revelations.
“The transformative and captivating experience the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater creates on stage transcends even the greatest choreography,” said Anne Ewers, President and CEO of the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts. “The company’s brilliant presentation of ‘Lazarus’ is much more than just a dance recital. Inspired by the life and times of Alvin Ailey himself, the company’s latest work truly captures the spirit of a nation.”
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater began with a now-fabled performance in March 1958 at the 92nd Street Y in New York City. With this performance led by Alvin Ailey, a group of young African American modern dancers forever changed the perception of American dance. Since that first iconic performance, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater has gone global, performing for an estimated 25 million people at theaters in 48 states and 71 countries on six continents – as well as millions more through television broadcasts, film screenings, and online platforms.
“Alvin Ailey forever changed the American landscape by raising up the lives and cultural heritage of African-Americans for all to see, opening the hearts and minds of people of every background and elevating the world of the performing arts,” said Robert Battle. “During this milestone season, we honor Alvin Ailey’s storied legacy with performances across North America, educational programs that enlighten young people and develop the next generation of performing artists. What Mr. Ailey gave us is more than a repertory and a tradition. It is a movement, a direction, a desire, a conviction that if the spirit is to live it must rise. We dedicate our 60th Anniversary to the next ascent.”
Throughout his lifetime, Alvin Ailey created 79 ballets, including his most popular and critically-acclaimed work, Revelations, created through drawing upon his “blood memories” of Texas, the blues, spirituals, and gospel. Despite his vast and impressive catalogue, Ailey always maintained that his company was not exclusively a repository for his own work. Today, 30 years after Ailey’s death, the company continues to honor Ailey missions by presenting both works of the past and commissioning new works. Today, the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater has a repertory of more than 235 works by over 90 choreographers thanks to the combined efforts of Ailey, his successor Judith Jamison, and current Artistic Director, Robert Battle, who The New York Times proclaimed has “injected the company with new life.”
National audiences will have the opportunity to experience Ailey’s first ever two-act ballet with Rennie Harris’ world premiere, “Lazarus”. Inspired by the life and legacy of Mr. Ailey and addressing the racial inequities our nation has faced, both in 1958 when the company was founded and today, “Lazarus” is an ensemble work featuring a soundtrack that melds Nina Simone, Terrence Trent D’Arby, Michael Kiwanuka, Odetta, original music by Darrin Ross, and the voice of Alvin Ailey. Harris is also currently serving as Ailey’s first Artist-in-Residence, leading a wide range of activities across the organization, including The Ailey School, Ailey II, Arts-in-Education, Ailey Extension, and the New Directions Choreography Lab.
The Philadelphia engagement also includes Ailey star Jamar Roberts’ Member Don’t Get Weary, created to powerful music of jazz legend “as a response to the current social landscape in America;” Jessica Lang’s luminous 2018 premiere “EN,” her 100th ballet and her Ailey choreographic debut, a celebratory ensemble work set to original music by composer Jakub Ciupinski, with costumes by Bradon McDonald; and Robert Battle’s tour-de-force duet set to the virtuosic scatting of Ella Fitzgerald.
Alvin Ailey’s American masterpiece “Revelations” will close every performance in Philadelphia. Since its creation in 1960, “Revelations” has been seen by more audiences around the world than any other modern work, inspiring 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 African-American cultural heritage and explores the emotional spectrum of the human condition.
Other featured upcoming performances at the Kimmel Center Cultural Campus include: PHILADANCO: Dance Philly Style (April 12-14, 2019, Perelman Theater) and Rennie Harris: Funkedified (June 7-8, 2019, Merriam Theater).
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
Academy of Music
March 1, 2019, 7:30 p.m. - Lazarus / Revelations
March 2, 2019, 2:00 p.m. - Lazarus / Revelations
March 2, 2019, 7:30 p.m. - Members Don’t Get Weary / EN / Ella, Revelations
Tickets are on sale now and start at $25.00. Tickets can be purchased by calling 215-893-1999, online at www.kimmelcenter.org, or at the Kimmel Center Box Office. Group sales are available for groups of 10 or more and can be purchased by calling 215-790-5883. See www.kimmelcenter.org for more information.
The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts
Located in the heart of Center City, Philadelphia, the Kimmel Center’s mission is to operate a world-class performing arts center that engages and serves a broad audience through diverse programming, arts education, and community outreach. The Kimmel Center Campus is comprised of the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts (Verizon Hall, Perelman Theater, SEI Innovation Studio, and the Merck Arts Education Center), the Academy of Music (owned by the Philadelphia Orchestra Association), and the Merriam Theater. The Kimmel Center is also home to eight Resident Companies: The Philadelphia Orchestra, Opera Philadelphia, The Pennsylvania Ballet, The Philly POPS, PHILADANCO, The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, The Philadelphia Chamber Music Society and Curtis Institute of Music. With nearly 9,000 seats per night, The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts is the region’s most impactful performing arts center, and the second largest in the country. TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank, is the season sponsor of the Kimmel Center’s 2018-2019 Season. American Airlines is the official airline of Broadway Philadelphia. For additional information, visit www.kimmelcenter.org.
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