Dance, Main Stage

5 Reasons Not to Miss Alvin Ailey in Boston!

It’s a Boston tradition that’s celebrated every spring: Don’t miss Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater when it returns to Boston April 27-30! The beloved company never fails to energize and inspire audiences with its thrilling choreography, contagious enthusiasm, and powerful narrative behind every work. Still haven’t bought your tickets? Here are a few reasons you don’t want to miss Alvin Ailey this year.

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in Mauro Bigonzetti’s Deep; photo by Paul Kolnik

1. This year’s program features four major Boston premieres. Premieres for large ensembles are an exciting part of our annual Ailey presentation. This year features debuts from international dance makers Mauro Bigonzetti (Deep) and Johan Inger (Walking Mad), a red-hot “Genius” choreographer Kyle Abraham (Untitled America), and company member Hope Boykin, who was inspired by an exhibit in Atlanta’s Center for Civil and Human Rights (r-Evolution, Dream.).

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in Hope Boykin’s r-Evolution, Dream.; photo by Paul Kolnik

2. Timely works shine a light on today’s social issues. Hope Boykin’s r-Evolution, Dream., and Kyle Abraham’s Untitled America, could not come at a better time with messages that reflect on today’s important civil rights battles. Inspired by the speeches and sermons of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., r-Evolution, Dream., features music by Ali Jackson (from Jazz at Lincoln Center) and historical and original texts narrated by Leslie Odom Jr. (Hamilton). Through Untitled America, MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship winner Abraham spotlights the impact of the prison system on African-American families using interview audio from imprisoned people; music by Laura Mvula, Raime, and more; and his own avant-garde choreography. Dance Magazine praises him “for keeping the revelations relevant.”

Alvin Ailey Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in Revelations, photo by Paul Kolnik

3. Revelations, Revelations, Revelations! No matter what day you choose to attend, allow yourself to be uplifted with Alvin Ailey’s must-see signature piece, Revelations (1960). Anchoring every program during the run, this timeless cultural treasure uses African-American spirituals to fervently explore the places of deepest grief and holiest joy in the soul—a moving experience whether it’s your first or fiftieth time to see it live.

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in Billy Wilson’s The Winter in Lisbon; photo by Teresa Wood

4. It’s a celebration of jazz. April is Jazz Appreciation Month—what better time to celebrate the centennials of jazz greats Ella Fitzgerald and Dizzy Gillespie? Robert Battle’s Ella (2008) is an irresistible tour-de-force duet set to Fitzgerald’s virtuosic scatting in the song, “Airmail Special.” Billy Wilson’s The Winter in Lisbon (1992) pays homage to consummate jazz musician Gillespie.

Alvin Ailey dancer Belen Peyrera with students of Lawrence Boys & Girls Club.

5. Join thousands of young people in experiencing Ailey! This year marks a special milestone for Celebrity Series as we celebrate the 75,000 young people who have attended Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater performances over the years through our free and discounted ticket programs. Each season, Take Your Seat enables us to offer more than 5,000 free and discounted tickets to a variety of performances to school and community groups, families, and students—all in an effort to break down economic, physical, and other barriers that limit access to the performing arts. We’ll be celebrating this milestone at the Saturday, April 29th, matinee performance!

Tickets are moving fast! Learn more about each day’s programs, and reserve your seat today!

Top Photo: Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in Kyle Abraham’s Untitled America. Photo by Paul Kolnik.
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