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AAADT’s Samantha Figgins and Jeroboam Bozeman. Photo by Andrew Eccles

 Celebrating 60 Years Of Alvin Ailey By Tachelle Wilkes

Ailey’s 60th Anniversary Celebration at New York City Center was riveting and captivating. The Gala the night prior brought about celebrities like Oscar winner Cecily Tyson who uttered, “He will always be with me;” Angela Bassett paid homage among many others.


The night started with a video tribute to Alvin Ailey. We witnessed his narrative and reasons for following his passion for dance. He poignantly expressed, “Dance is for everybody. I believe that the dance came from the people and that it should always be delivered back to the people.
This illuminating performance (Lazarus), the Company’s first two-act work choreographed by Rennie Harris and under the artistic direction of Robert Battle probes the polarities of what exists in the shadows between dark and light. It expresses the woes of an African American past drenched in slavery, the Jim Crow era and social injustices that exist today. The dancers embodied a new dawn that can easily be interpreted into the hopes of a new future, an awakening expressed with an afro-futuristic tone.
The beauty of this remarkable performance lies in how dancers like Hope Boykin, Riccardo Battaglia, Khalia Campbell and Clifton Brown used their bodies as instruments. They became the piano, strings and horns. They were an orchestra at work as they expressed inner conflicts, human relationships and universal truths. The symbolism of the moon was vast which denotes humanity is ultimately one. We live under one moon and are one body.
The mesmerizing wardrobe of flowy blue and purple skirts, lavish suits, and yellow church hats were symbolic all on its own, which expressed a pathway to healing from living the blues to incarnating happiness.
Ailey’s impeccable artistry knows no limits – only freedom. Hopefully tomorrow’s generations will continue to experience how such art not only converges with the audience’s soul, but illuminates it.


Alvin Ailey photo by Eric N. Hong

Donna Walker Kuhne, CEO of Walker International Communications Group Reflects On Working With Alvin Ailey

“Mr. Ailey has always said dance is for everyone. The choreography and beauty of the company have accomplished this goal for 60 years. Through touring, arts education, training and the Ailey camp, millions of people lives have been touched by Mr. Ailey’s vision. It has been such an honor for me to be part of the Ailey marketing team for over 16 years. The next 60 years will expand and reach new heights of the joyful experience of the company.”



 You Can Join The Celebration

Now – Dec 30 at New York City Center

We’re celebrating our 60th Anniversary with our biggest season yet.

32 Extraordinary Dancers
5 Premieres and New Productions
One chance to be a part of Ailey’s 60th Anniversary at New York City Center, now through Dec 30.

Join us for five joyful weeks at New York City Center and revel in all that’s been and all that’s yet to come.

Get your tickets today:

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