Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, recognized by U.S. Congress as a vital American “Cultural Ambassador to the World,” will inspire and entertain from May 20-23 at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County in the finale of a 20-city U.S. Tour honoring 2009 TIME 100 Honoree Judith Jamison on her 20th year as artistic director.
Ailey’s acclaimed dancers, including Miami natives Amos J. Machanic, Jr., Jamar Roberts and Yusha-Marie Sorzano, will move audiences with exciting premieres, dramatic new productions, repertory favorites and classic Revelations.
The celebration will begin on Thursday, May 20 with a Best of 20 Years special program highlighting excerpts from 12 of the nearly 100 ballets that Jamison has commissioned or revived in the Ailey repertory during her two decades of leadership.
Among the premieres, Ronald K. Brown pays tribute to Judith Jamison’s profound influence with the world premiere of Dancing Spirit, which echoes the title of Jamison’s autobiography and is set to music by Duke Ellington, Wynton Marsalis and War.
AAADT’s much-admired 18-year veteran Matthew Rushing invites audiences to visit the Harlem Renaissance in Uptown, his first solo choreographic effort for the Company. Bringing to life that era’s legends and swinging glory, the piece is set to the vibrant music of Fats Waller, Eubie Blake, Nat “King” Cole and more.
Other highlights include a new production of Hymn, Judith Jamison’s Emmy Award-winning homage to Alvin Ailey, and Alvin Ailey’s signature masterpiece Revelations at each performance, a “must-see” for all people.
During her 15 years performing with Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Alvin Ailey created some of his most enduring roles for Jamison, enabling her to break down racial barriers and become internationally acclaimed. In 1989 she became one of only a handful of women in the world to direct a major dance company, at the invitation of Alvin Ailey before his untimely death.
Jamison has guided the Ailey organization to new heights around the world and into a permanent home – the nation’s largest building for dance. The Ailey organization has implemented unique programs that help young people reach their full potential, including public school residencies that use dance to teach language arts and history, an Ailey/Fordham B.F.A. program that is training the inspiring performing artists of the future, and AileyCamp, a summer day camp for underserved inner-city youth in Miami and 9 other cities.
One of the most renowned figures in modern dance and a cultural icon, Jamison was recently acknowledged by The New York Times as “surely the most stellar and admired artistic director of any repertory dance company in America.” She has received many of the nation’s most prestigious honors given to artists, including The Kennedy Center Honors (1999), the 2001 National Medal of the Arts and recognition as a 2009 TIME 100 Honoree, the magazine’s list of the world’s most influential figures.
Alvin Ailey® American Dance Theater tickets are on sale through the Adrienne Arsht Center box office at 305-949-6722 or online at www.arshtcenter.org ($25 and up). For information on group discounts, contact 786-468-2326.
Thursday, May 20 – 8 p.m. evening BEST OF 20 YEARS / REVELATIONS
Friday, May 21 – 8 p.m. evening UPTOWN / DANCING SPIRIT / REVELATIONS
Saturday, May 22 – 2 p.m. matinee SUITE OTIS / HYMN /REVELATIONS
Saturday, May 22 – 8 p.m. evening BEST OF 20 YEARS / REVELATIONS
Sunday, May 23 – 2 pm matinee UPTOWN / DANCING SPIRIT / REVELATIONS