The Music Center welcomes America’s cultural ambassador to the world, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, back to Los Angeles for five days of dance and learning that celebrate the decade-long leadership of its Artistic Director Robert Battle as part of the 19th season of Glorya Kaufman Presents Dance at The Music Center.
Ailey’s renowned artists will perform a diverse repertory of premieres, new productions and Ailey classics after a two-year absence from The Music Center, its Southern California home. Highlights include a Battle 10th Anniversary program; an all Ailey program featuring “Blues Suite,” Alvin Ailey’s original masterpiece based upon his “blood memories” of growing up in rural Texas; “Cry,” his beloved classic dedicated to “all Black women everywhere—especially our mothers;” a new production of “Battle’s Reflections in D” from Ailey’s legendary collaboration with Duke Ellington; and the return of hip-hop innovator Rennie Harris’s acclaimed “Lazarus.”
Each performance will culminate in Alvin Ailey’s American masterpiece “Revelations,” which has inspired generations through its powerful storytelling and soul-stirring spirituals since its creation in 1960. The company will also work with students and senior citizens to explore the choreography and history of “Revelations” through in-person residencies.
“Since Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s first appearance with “Glorya Kaufman Presents Dance at The Music Center” in 2004, the company’s performances in Los Angeles have been the most anticipated of every dance season,” said Rachel S. Moore, president and CEO of The Music Center. “This year feels especially meaningful since it’s the company’s first post-pandemic appearance at The Music Center, and it marks a decade of Artistic Director Robert Battle’s leadership. Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater is truly a national treasure, and it is an honor to celebrate this milestone with performances that will uplift and connect audiences at a time we need it most.”
“Alvin Ailey’s vision opened the door for generations of artists to use dance to inspire, unite and enlighten,” stated Battle. “Despite the twists and turns on the road we have all traveled together, we continue to find new ways to share artistry that renews our spirit of courage, hope and joy. I am thrilled we are returning to The Music Center and deeply humbled to have led this seminal Company for a decade, joined by incomparable dancers and choreographers on a journey of discovery that extends from the powerful works of our founder to the important voices of today—an ongoing dance dialogue that shines a light on the strength and resilience of our common humanity around the world.”
The Battle 10th Anniversary program marks a decade of Battle’s leadership that has moved the Company forward in exciting ways into a seventh decade. The evening-length program features Los Angeles-based choreographer Aszure Barton’s “BUSK,” which invites audiences to enjoy the fragility, tenderness and resilience that exist within the human experience. Set to a spirited score, “BUSK” has been described as watching the physical unfurling of the human psyche. Under Barton’s direction, every facet of the dancers’ bodies and minds are engaged, and the complex layering of movement reveals the inherent wisdom of the body. The dancers must tap into the collective—a hive mind—to execute Barton’s layered and intricate choreographic structures, which then give way to the nuance of each individual. The evening also includes “Ella” and the finale of “Love Stories.”
In addition, The Music Center and Ailey Arts in Education & Community Programs will work with four LAUSD middle schools in the weeks leading up to the Company’s performances to delve into and learn the choreography of “Revelations”. The students will have the opportunity to experience the dance live during a special performance for students at The Music Center’s Dorothy Chandler Pavilion.
At the current time, The Music Center requires all members of the public who attend performances and events inside The Music Center’s four theatres to show proof of full vaccination for COVID-19 with a booster as eligible or provide a negative COVID-19 test. An antigen test must be taken within 24 hours prior to the start of the event, and a PCR test must be taken within 48 hours prior to the start time; this includes children over two years of age. At-home COVID tests will not be accepted for entry.