Led by Miami native Robert Battle in his third season as artistic director, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, one of the world’s most beloved dance companies, returns by popular demand to the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County from Thursday, February 20 through Sunday, February 23. The highly anticipated Miami performances are part of a 23-city North American tour that marks the 25th season since the passing of legendary founder Alvin Ailey.
Following an acclaimed record-breaking five-week season launch in New York City and building on last year’s success, Ailey’s sixth annual Miami engagement will showcase Miami native Jamar Roberts and 30 other extraordinary dancers in a dynamic collection of repertory favorites, premieres and new productions by major choreographers. This exceptional engagement is co-presented by the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County as part of the Knight Masterworks Season – Sanford and Beatrice Ziff Signature Dance Series.
On June 7, 2013, Antonio Douthit and Kirven Boyd — now known as the Douthit-Boyds — became the first same-sex, actively dancing Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater company members to marry each other. They met 12 years ago, when Antonio was in the main Ailey troupe and Kirven had just joined the company’s farm team, Ailey II. Since they began dating in 2006, they have been inseparable and have graced stages all over the country with the company.
The Thursday, February 20th opening night program (also seen on Saturday evening) features the premieres of multi-award-winning British choreographer Wayne McGregor’s Chroma, and celebrated dance storyteller Ronald K. Brown’s uplifting Four Corners. Chroma, a ballet filled with layered, beautiful dancing and astonishing lifts, marks the first time a work by multi award-winning British choreographer Wayne McGregor appears in the Ailey repertory. Created in 2006 for The Royal Ballet, the piece has a driving score by Joby Talbot and orchestrations of music by Jack White III of The White Stripes and a luminous set by minimalist architect John Pawson. Four Corners is celebrated choreographer Ronald K. Brown’s fifth work for Ailey’s extraordinary dancers, who have become known as inspiring interpreters of his phenomenal dance storytelling. Set to the music of Carl Hancock Rux and various artists, the 11 dancers on a spiritual journey bring to life the vision of four angels standing on the four corners of the earth holding the four winds.
The Friday, February 21st evening program as well as the Sunday matinee program will include the enthralling LIFT, a world premiere by in-demand choreographer Aszure Barton, as well as the premiere of modern dance innovator Bill T. Jones’ joyful tour-de-force D-Man in the Waters (Part I). LIFT is an exhilarating new work that celebrates and challenges the cast of 19 and was created with Barton’s collaborative stylistic approach that is constantly evolving like no other. Ailey’s renowned dancers inspired the process, movement and composition, as well as the original percussive score by Curtis Macdonald. D-Man in the Waters (Part I) is a true modern dance classic and a New York Dance and Performance (“Bessie”) Award-winning work by modern dance innovator Bill T. Jones, a Tony Award-winner for Fela! and Spring Awakening. Originally created in 1989, it is a celebration of life and the resiliency of the human spirit that embodies loss, hope and triumph with non-stop movement set to Mendelssohn’s Octet for Strings in E-flat Major, Op. 20 (1825).
The Family Matinee on Saturday, February 22nd will be a special Ailey/Ellington program featuring productions of The River and Pas de Duke, along with Night Creature, three of the 14 ballets founder Alvin Ailey created during his career that celebrate the musical genius of the eminent American composer Duke Ellington. The Family Matinee will be followed by a free Q&A with the Ailey dancers for the enjoyment of the entire family.
In addition to new choreographic treasures, Alvin Ailey’s rousing masterpiece Revelations, — an American classic acclaimed as a must-see and recognized by U.S. Senate resolution — will provide the inspiring finale at all performances.
For further details on Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and the Ailey organization’s performances, training programs and educational activities, visit AlvinAiley.org.