| Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater

A Case of You

‘A Case of You’ is an emotional and sensual duet by Judith Jamison, performed to Diana Krall’s version of Joni Mitchell’s song by the same title.

A Folk Dance

This work is especially created for the unique talents of four Ailey dancers. Set to an original score by Mio Morales, this theatrical ballet expresses the choreographer’s concern for social and political struggles.

A Song For You

This performance is dedicated in loving memory to long-time Ailey Company member Dudley Williams (1938–2015).

"A Song For You" is an excerpt from Alvin Ailey's Love Songs.

“I love you in a place
Where there’s no space or time...
I love you for my life
You’re a friend of mine...”


Acceptance In Surrender

Continuing the tradition of nurturing dancers' unique choreographic voices, Judith Jamison invited Ailey company members Hope Boykin, Abdur-Rahim Jackson and Matthew Rushing to collaborate on a world premiere with an original score by Philip Hamilton. As three angels lead a distraught woman on a journey through submission and surrender, audiences will recognize their own spiritual paths and discoveries.

According To Eve

Recounting the story of Cain and Abel through Eve’s eyes, this Biblical ballet explores family relationships and emotions. While the two brothers dance in dispute with great intensity, Eve stands between them with concern and a motherly compassion.

After Eden

After the Rain Pas de Deux

In Christopher Wheeldon’s After the Rain Pas de Deux, a couple performs a haunting pas de deux set to Estonian composer Arvo Pärt’s Spiegel im Spiegel. The work first premiered in 2005 at New York City Ballet’s annual New Combinations Evening, which honors the anniversary of George Balanchine’s birth with world premieres. The dreamlike male-female duet has been widely praised for its sublime simplicity and intricate partnering, and it is revealed in a fresh light as the Ailey dancers make it their own.

Ailey Classics

Ailey Classics features excerpts from classics works by Alvin Ailey, as well as a performance of his masterpiece, Revelations, in its entirety.

Among Us (Private Spaces: Public Places)

Characters from all walks of life come together in Judith Jamison’s new collection of vignettes examining the joys and complications of human relationships. Original jazz compositions by the musical iconoclast ELEW and costumes by the award-winning designer Paul Tazewell are inspired by a series of Jamison’s own drawings that depict these characters’ ordinary and sometimes extraordinary lives.

Ancestral Voices


A pièce d’occasion in tribute to Judith Jamison.


Set to jazz piano, Loris Anthony Beckles created Anjour (subtitled Ruminations on Dudley) as a tribute to Dudley Williams and his 20 years in the company.


Former Ailey company member Christopher L. Huggins makes his first contribution to the repertory with a new piece set to music by Moby and Sean Clements.

Another Night

Kyle Abraham, one of the most in-demand young choreographers today, presents a richly inventive contemporary jazz piece that showcases the artistry and versatility of the Ailey dancers.  Another Night was inspired by the legendary drummer Art Blakey’s interpretation of the jazz classic “A Night In Tunisia” by Dizzy Gillespie.


Using the techno/electronic and jazz sounds of an original score by Rolf Ellmer, Harper has crafted a daring kinetic experience for eight dancers, pulsing with energy and vitality.


Arden Court

Ailey honors the modern dance tradition with Arden Court, a bucolic masterpiece by Paul Taylor.  It is the first work by this illustrious dance master to enter the Ailey repertory. Set to a series of excerpted symphonies by baroque composer William Boyce, Arden Court allows for the Ailey dancers to be at once both playful and majestic. 

Ariette Oubliee


An Ailey dancer Troy O’ Neil Powell’s choreographic debut, Ascension, he creates a world ruled by a goddess and her muses whose collective aim is not to inspire acts of creation, but to set boundaries on them. The voice of one of Mr. Powell’s choreographic influences, the late Ulysses Dove, may be glimpsed here through the use of a driving percussive score and exciting athleticism. In this abstract work, Mr. Powell also incorporates intricate lifts to suggest that the adherence to limitations may provide a unique means of transcendence.


Battle uses his taut, ritualistic style to powerful effect in a dance that expertly balances chaos and resolution, dissonance and harmony. His first new work since becoming artistic director in 2011 is set to a symphonic score by frequent collaborator John Mackey.

Awassa Astrige/Ostrich

With arms flapping like wings, torso rippling and head held high, a warrior is transformed into the proud, powerful ostrich ­— the king of birds.  Sierra Leone-born choreographer Dafora blended his vision of a traditional African dance with Western staging in this groundbreaking 1932 solo set to Carl Riley’s score of African drumming and flute.

Bad Blood

In Bad Blood, emotional passion and kinetic energy encapsulate the powerful yet extremely tender war between the sexes, keeping audiences on the edge of their seats with a daredevil display.

Black Milk

The Ailey men display their extraordinary strength in Black Milk, a physically demanding quintet by Batsheva Dance Company's Artistic Director Ohad Naharin, whose choreography has been hailed by The New York Times as "raw and elegant… always powerful." Danced to a score for two marimbas by Paul Smadbeck, this tightly structured work challenges the men with its juxtaposition of tempos, textures and energy.



Black Unionism

Blood Burning Moon

Eleo Pomare’s ballet is based on Cane, by Jane Toomer, a romantic novel first published in 1923 which portrays the change from an agrarian to an industrialized society in terms of an eternal love-triangle.

Blood Memories

This episodic work recalls hundreds of years of African heritage, with robust dancing and changing music. The three river settings – the Nile, the Mississippi, and the Harlem – act as a metaphor for the journey.


Blues Suite

With the rumble of a train and the toll of distant bells, a cast of vividly-drawn characters from the barrelhouses and fields of Alvin Ailey’s southern childhood are summoned to dance and revel through one long, sultry night. Ailey’s first masterpiece poignantly evokes the sorrow, humor and humanity of the blues, those heartfelt songs that he called “hymns to the secular regions of the soul.”


Bounty Verses

The nonstop pace and complexity of modern life set the tone for Dwight Rhoden’s contemporary ballet. Rhoden peels away the layers of classical music and dance, deconstructing traditional forms and exploding the limits of the Ailey dancers’ astonishing physicality. Rhoden’s 2000 premiere, Chocolate Sessions, was proclaimed “a sexy, rollicking work” by Newsday.


The figures in Donald Byrd’s Burlesque inhabit a world of faded dreams poised against the lustrous elegance of songs by Louis Armstrong. These animated 1920s personalities call to mind images of a time gone by, when disillusioned but spirited performers inhabited a gritty theatrical underworld. First set on Byrd’s own company - Donald Byrd/The Group - in 2002, this dramatic piece adds another dimension to Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s already diverse repertoire.


C# Street-Bb Avenue

This fun and funky ballet has a block-party feel. Set to Ntozake Shange’s poem I Live in Music, lines like “I live on C-sharp Street; my friend lives on B-flat Avenue” play perfectly with the dancers’ speed, style, and colorful costumes.

Canticle of the Elements


When Caravan premiered in 1976, Judith Jamison led the cast of 19 through Louis Falco's freewheeling choreography. Now a new generation of Ailey dancers put their mark on this high-spirited work. Amidst a spectacular array of richly textured moving panels, scrims and curtains, they explode across the stage in animated bursts of vivacious dancing and frivolity.

Carmina Burana

Carmina Burana is a theatre piece based on a collection of 13th century songs and poems composed by minstrels and monks who had freed themselves of monastic discipline. The ballet is an abstract landscape of movement, bemoaning and celebrating the ever-changing fate of man.


The dancer in Parsons’ signature work defies gravity as he flies through the air in a breathtaking display of athletic stamina. Flashing lights capture the dancer in more than 100 leaps, suspending him perpetually in mid-motion without ever touching ground.


Caverna Magica

Chelsea's Bells

An invigorating rock duet with soul set to music by Melissa Etheridge and Robert Ruggieri, Chelsea’s Bells explores the power of woman over man and courtship rituals.

Child of the Earth

Chocolate Sessions

"It also has to do with the idea of what chocolate is to me. It is an aphrodisiac. The taste of chocolate is irresistible and it raises the endorphin levels in the brain. The endorphin rush one gets from chocolate is the same I feel watching the gorgeous dancers… It is a very generous experience, much like what Alvin Ailey was to me as a mentor."

Choral Dances

Set to Benjamin Britten’s opera Gloriana, Choral Dances is a gentle, majestic work about community and nature. The opera premiered at Covent Garden in June 1953 in honor of the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.



The groundbreaking British choreographer's contemporary ballet is full of sensory surprises: sumptuous movement, a driving score by Joby Talbot with orchestrations of songs by The White Stripes, and a luminous set by minimalist architect John Pawson.

Cinco Latinos

Clear Songs After Rain


Donald McKayle’s ballet is a patchwork of seven sections, each of which begins with projected images of flower fields, blue skies, ocean waves, and other natural phenomenon.

Come and Get the Beauty of it Hot

Talley Beatty's sizzling, sultry suite of jazz ballets fuses elements of Africa, the Caribbean and classical dance. Congo Tango Palace, the last section of the work, represents an imaginary ballroom in Spanish Harlem where the music is steamy and the interactions between men and women are equally so.

Concerto in F

In this setting of Gershwin’s Piano Concert in F, choreographer Billy Wilson recognizes the contribution of Black dancers in the entertainment life of America. The light, sometimes humorous work is a blend of jazz and ballet styles.

Congo Tango Palace


Rudy Perez originally created Countdown as a solo for himself in 1966. Set to two folk songs from the Auvergne region in the heart of France, Perez’s ballet communicates desolation through minimal yet dramatic movement.

Coverage II


Jennifer Muller created this witty ballet for the company in 1977 to Burt Alacantra’s feel good, semi-electronic music. A giant crossword puzzle hangs as the backdrop while dancers, each of whom have a letter sewn on the back of their costume, constantly move with sharp dynamics. Throughout the piece, the dancers “solve the puzzle” by arranging themselves and forming words.


Alvin Ailey choreographed his signature solo Cry as a birthday present for his dignified mother, and created the dance on his stunning muse, Judith Jamison.

D-Man in the Waters (Part I)

In this exhilarating work by Kennedy Center Honoree, MacArthur Grant awardee and Tony Award-winner Bill T. Jones (Fela!, Spring Awakening), rigorous formalism and musicality embody resilience and triumph over loss.

Dance at the Gym

When Donald Byrd choreographed Dance at the Gym for Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in 1991, he took inspiration from a film choreographed 30 years earlier - Jerome Robbins' 1961 West Side Story. Using the "Dance at the Gym" number from the movie as a counterpoint, Byrd created his dance to explore the idea of how young people in a charged environment look at each other and interact.

Dance For Six

Originally commissioned by The New Dance Group in 1969, Dance for Six is set to Vivaldi’s Concerto #9 in B Flat major and to #12 in B minor. The ballet features three male and three female company members weaving about in beautiful, wondrous patterns.

Dancing Spirit

Ronald K. Brown pays tribute to Judith Jamison’s profound influence with a new work that echoes the title of Jamison’s autobiography. Set to music by Duke Ellington, Wynton Marsalis and War, Brown’s evocative choreography uses movement from Cuba, Brazil and the United States to conjure dancing spirits who embody Jamison’s elegance, vision, dignity and generosity.

Danger Run

Danger Run, a dance in four sections, is set against a vivid painted backdrop that unfurls throughout the piece. Images of Africa and its Diaspora in the Americas spill one onto another; a winding mysterious pathway flows uninterrupted through the multifaceted environment resting finally within the receiving embrace of two ancestral figures. These dominating figures, revealed on the backdrop, are the two leading dancers within the choreography. They remain a binding presence throughout the four sections.

Days Past, Not Forgotten


The new director of La Scala Ballet returns to Ailey with a work set to the soulful music of Ibeyi, twin sisters who sing in English and Yoruba. (“Ibeyi” is the Yoruba word for twins.)  The L.A. Times called Bigonzetti’s previous work for Ailey – 2008’s Festa Barocca – “a major addition to the company’s repertoire that offers a perfect vehicle for its many-faceted talents to gleam anew.”

District Storyville


This complex, multi-layered ballet, set to the music of Kimati Dinizulu and Monti Ellison, was choreographed by Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater Artistic Director Emerita Judith Jamison in 1984. This work was Ms. Jamison's first choreographic effort and a smashing success, winning reviews that ranked her a promising new choreographer. Divining, a unique combination of primitive tribal energy and urban sophistication, creatively displays the company's versatility.

Double Exposure

Double Exposure is the eighth ballet choreographed by Artistic Director Emerita Judith Jamison for Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. The movement vocabulary in Double Exposure is unique and inventive. Combined with the electronic dimensions onstage and the dazzling Ailey dancers, Ms. Jamison has achieved a new level of choreographic prowess.


Ms. Jamison discussed the concept of Double Exposure:

Echo: Far From Home

Described as an "ambitious undertaking", Judith Jamison's astounding, semi-autobiographical work, Echo: Far From Home, revisits her childhood experiences with dance. In particular, she examines the experiences of a black dancer in the world of classical ballet, paralleling it with the African diaspora through Tom Feelings' paintings from his book Middle Passage.


Echoes In Blue


Ulysses Dove’s Episodes is a starkly passionate interpretation of the power struggles involved in human relationships.  Set to a sparse, percussive score by Robert Ruggieri with the choreography contained along two diagonally-lit paths, private battles between the sexes play out for all to see onstage.  Moments of tension, explosive confrontation, and unresolved longing are drawn out as duos partner with complete abandon.


The spiraling shape of a snail’s shell serves as the structural framework for Louis Falco’s Escargot. Ralph MacDonald’s rhythmic, highly percussive score is highlighted by African chanting and provides an excellent backdrop for Mr. Falco’s energetic, free-flowing, spontaneous style.

Existence Without Form

Emerging choreographer and former Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater dancer Uri Sands was named one of “25 Choreographers To Watch” in 2005 by Dance Magazine. He brings his unique choreographic voice to Ailey audiences, creating a ballet with a commissioned score by Christian Matjias. Sands’ approach elegantly fuses modern dance and traditional styles with Indian and West African movements.


Acclaimed hip-hop choreographer Rennie (Lorenzo) Harris creates a highly-anticipated world premiere that explores the idea of “exodus” – from one’s ignorance and conformity – as a necessary step toward enlightenment. Set to gospel and house music along with poetic narration, the work underscores the crucial role of action and movement in effecting change. Exemplifying his view of hip hop as a “celebration of life,” Exodus marks Harris’ latest invitation to return to spiritual basics and affirm who we are.


Created for Judith Jamison, this solo blends the blues, a woman’s independence, and sly humor. Five female records play throughout the ballet while Ms. Jamison playfully pulls dazzling dresses from a trunk.



Fathers and Sons

Feast of Ashes

Festa Barocca

Acclaimed Italian choreographer Mauro Bigonzetti, praised for his fresh and inventive sensibility, brings his distinctly European flair to the Ailey repertory for the first time.

Fever Swamp

Commissioned by Alvin Ailey in 1983, Fever Swamp was the first work created by Bill T. Jones, now a noted modern choreographer. It is an athletic romp for six male dancers set to a jazzy score by Peter Gordon.

Fin De Siecle


Ailey soars through the radiant grandeur of Maurice Béjart’s famous ballet, Firebird. This glorious work reinterprets the traditional fairytale as an allegory of revolution, idealism and rebirth, played out against Igor Stravinsky’s glorious score.


Inspired by the life of Janis Joplin, Alvin Ailey’s ballet is set to a selection of music by Janis Joplin, Pink Floyd and Blind Faith. More than 30 years after its premiere, Flowers remains a poignant, dramatic chronicle of one woman’s rise and fall as well as a timely statement on voyeurism and the price of fame.

Following the Subtle Current Upstream

"The title [of the ballet] is addressing the subtle currents that exist in the cerebrospinal column as the path to liberation, rather than the rush of outward force that moves into the afferent and efferent nerves, muscles and organs," explains choreographer Alonzo King.  "The title has hundreds of levels... We are participating in an exterior and an interior world. The rush and clamor of the exterior world is a spectacle that draws us out of our houses. It surges in an outward direction, and is dazzling, hypnotic and powerful.

Fontessa and Friends

“I was attracted to Fontessa after hearing her by The Modern Jazz Quartet. The zany humor of her character and her lovely theme totally inspired me to create Fontessa and Friends.” –Louis Johnson

An entertaining, theatrical ballet filled with charming and witty characters. A jazzy, upbeat musical score sets the mood for this lighthearted tale about Fontessa and her circle of facetious friends.


“When Jennifer Muller speaks, people listen,” raved Dance Magazine. Muller’s passionate, high-energy piece speaks about the moment to moment, indelible choices that we make that we cannot retrace or retract, choices that end up affecting the paths of our lives. The work witnesses a group of individuals traveling together as they are delayed and diverted from choosing directions that could lead to greater clarity and more positive interaction.

For 'Bird' - With Love

From all of us forever touched by his magic.

A tribute to the great jazz musician Charlie “Bird” Parker, For ‘Bird’ - With Love brings the audience back to the relaxed atmosphere of an after-hours jam session at a local jazz club. The dancers emulate Parkers’ swing-based style and knack for improvisation while dressed to the nines. In the bejeweled costumes designed by Randy Barcelo, the Company revels in the sounds of Parker himself, Dizzy Gillespie, Count Basie and Jerome Kern.

Forgotten Time

The haunting, otherworldly sounds of Le Mystere des Voix Bulgares accompany 12 dancers on a journey through ancient rituals of love and tribal rites of passage.

Four Corners

In Ronald K. Brown’s Four Corners, 11 dancers depict spiritual seekers amid four angels standing on the corners of the earth, holding the four winds. In creating his fifth commission for the Ailey company since 1999, the celebrated choreographer turned to the song “Lamentations” by his friend, recording artist Carl Hancock Rux. Drawing from West African and modern dance influences, Brown uses grounded, earthy movements to portray figures who are burdened by grief but ultimately find peace, solace, and freedom with the aid of “the angels in their corners” mentioned in Rux’s text.


From Before

Jamaican-born choreographer Garth Fagan – a Tony Award winner for The Lion King – expertly distills the dance traditions of his heritage to display movement in its purest form.  In this ensemble work, undulating torsos move independently of gyrating hips, and arms and legs cut through space with an arresting display of strength.  Tableau-like moments of stillness are juxtaposed against fiery solos.

From the Mountains of Taubalu

Dedicated to the Hearts of the People.

Set to the gospel music of the Winans, From the Mountains of Taubalu is an inspirational/political solo Rovan Deon created especially for dancer Marilyn Banks.

Gamelan Gardens

Karole Armitage, whose recent New York premiere was deemed “triumphant” by The New York Times, seamlessly weaves her distinctive movement with music by Lou Harrison. Juxtaposing elegance and rawness, lyricism and geometry, Armitage crafts dances that move like a blaze of consciousness, encouraging viewers to contemplate the mystery of their own lives. Gamelan Gardens plays with notions of time and place, setting the dancers in an ephemeral realm where dreams and memories bloom and the private and social interact.


Donald McKayle's Games finds the Ailey dancers prancing, skipping, hopscotching, and singing their way through a touching scene of street-corner friendship, grief, and games.


Dedicated to the Free Spirit in All of Us.

Set in the jungle to drumbeats and jazz music, George Faison’s ballet communicates the idea of personal freedom. The story begins with native tribesmen hunting a gazelle; however, the story later shifts as the native tribesmen become the ones targeted.


Go In Grace

Company member Hope Boykin weaves a gentle, affecting tale of community, family and growth that illustrates the African proverb “it takes a village to raise a child.”

To a score composed and performed live by Sweet Honey In The Rock, Boykin casts the dancers and singers as members of a society who unite to move a young girl forward in wisdom and grace.


One of the most popular works in the Ailey repertory, Ronald K. Brown’s spellbinding Grace is a fervent tour-de-force depicting individuals on a journey to the promised land. 


Heart Song

Alonzo King sparks the Ailey dancers’ brilliance with another provocative, alluring ballet that delves beneath the physical surface. Through the choreographer’s keen eye and sensitive observation, the invisible is made visible and the elusive qualities that animate each dancer are revealed.


Artistic Director Emerita Judith Jamison pays tribute to the spirit and life of the gifted Olympian Florence Griffith-Joyner, the track and field superstar who died a premature death after a heart seizure at the age of 39. Merging dance athleticism and art, Jamison's work was commissioned by the 2002 Olympic Arts Festival. The ballet received its world premiere during the Company's 2001 City Center season in New York City.

Hermit Songs

Alvin Ailey's suite of dancers find inspiration from eighth to thirteenth century monks and scholars. Hermit Songs vividly depicts the figure of the medieval man -- dedicated with single-minded intensity to his religious vocation.

Hidden Rites

Alvin Ailey described Hidden Rites as "the battle of the sexes."  "The age-old fight and seduction rituals that occur between men and women have excited my sensibilities for a long time," he said.

Hobo Sapiens

Created as a solo for Dudley Williams, Hobo Sapiens takes place in a red-brick alley and traces a man’s life from youth to middle age. Helping set the street scene are Stevie Wonder and Billy’s Preston’s rock and roll and R&B music.


Home, choreographed by bold hip-hop choreographer Rennie Harris, is inspired by the stories of people living with or affected by HIV.  Drawing upon poems and images submitted in 2011 to the Fight HIV Your Way contest, an initiative of Bristol-Myers Squibb, Harris created a compelling work that conveys both the chilling isolation and uplifting sense of community many experience.

How Long Have It Been

Judith Jamison originally performed this solo to the funky blues of Lightnin’ Hopkins.

How To Walk An Elephant

How To Walk An Elephant represents the first collaborative work by Bill T. Jones and Arnie Zane for the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. Its title is good-humored hyperbole acknowledging the overwhelming complexity and power of the music of modern master Conlon Nancarrow in his Studies for Players Piano. The work employs an ensemble of twelve men and women.


Judith Jamison’s stunning, Emmy Award-winning 1993 tribute to Alvin Ailey uses explosive, full company dances and quiet solos to illuminate Ailey’s humanity and the dancers’ unique qualities. Narrative recollections from dancers are arranged by the multi-talented actor/playwright Anna Deavere Smith.


According to the myth, Daedalus, imprisoned with his son, Icarus, devised wings to enable them to escape. Icarus, overcome by the ecstasy of flying, flew toward the sun, whereupon his wings burned and he fell to his death.

Ife / My Heart

Ronald K. Brown, the choreographer who dazzled Ailey audiences with his powerhouse hits Grace and Serving Nia, brings his signature fusion of modern, hip-hop and African dance to the Ailey repertory once again. Casting his fresh eye on social and cultural themes, Brown has emerged in recent years as one of the most exciting choreographers of his generation. "Brown is one of a handful of choreographers rethinking what dance can do," raved The New York Times.



Set to Nina Simone’s haunting rendition of the Oscar-nominated song “Wild is the Wind,”In/Side offers audiences an intimate look at a man’s most private struggles. 


With music and poetry specially created by Robert Ruggieri and Robert Maurice Riley, Inside (Between Love... And Love) explores the effects love has on one’s moods. Company member Ulysses Dove choreographed this ballet in five parts:

I. I’ve Been Hurt Before 
II. Fear 
III. Anger
IV. Getting It All Out
V. Ready for Love


A sweeping, romantic ballet centered around the courtship and marriage of a regal couple in white. The piano score by George Winston frames this tender story that contains African tribal influences.


Joyce Trisler, one of the Ailey company’s first members, set her ethereal female solo to Charles Ives’s “The Unanswered Question.” 


Where do ritual and folk tradition exist in today's society? Artistic Director Robert Battle explores this question as five dancers engage in a modern day "Rite of Spring" with an abstract twist. An original score by John Mackey for string quartet and percussion drives the mood of this edgy, ritualistic work.

Jukebox For Alvin

Jukebox for Alvin is a fast-paced mix of solos, duets, trios, and male and female ensembles, all set to an eclectic score of musical genres. It is an introspective homage to Garth Fagan’s teacher, mentor, and friend.

Kinetic Molpai



Louis Johnson originally created his first ballet Lament for the New York Ballet Club in 1953. Later in 1985, the Ailey Company performed a revived production of Lament, a ballet centered on winning and losing love.


Alvin Ailey’s moody, lovely landscape of dance styles was inspired by the choreographer’s travels in Eastern Europe and the music of Bela Bartok.

Later That Day

Les Noces

Letter To A Lady

Lettres D'Amour

Redha's ballet for the Ailey company explores the symptom of loneliness in our modern society. True intimacy is difficult to find in these fast-paced times and is even harder to sustain, yet we continue to yearn for a deep, passionate, human connection. Risky, athletic and sensual, the dancers play a game of seduction that eventually brings them to the point where they must either summon the courage to reveal their feelings of love or continue to mask who they really are, perpetuating their emptiness and isolation.

Liberian Suite

Liberian Suite was written by Duke Ellington as a tribute to the Liberian Republic’s centennial and had its first performance in Carnegie Hall. Lester Horton created for his Dance Theater in 1952 a non-literal series of Dances of Celebration aimed at capturing the spirit of the piece – a work of vitality, optimism, and scope. James Truitte later created a new production of Liberian Suite in 1976.


This propulsive world premiere by in-demand choreographer Aszure Barton accentuates the vitality and physical prowess of the Ailey company. Driven by the dancers’ passion, skill and collective power, the work was created over a developmental process with the entire Company. The percussive score, composed by Curtis Macdonald, is infused with the infectious energy and heart that she observed in her initial encounters with the Ailey dancers.

Love Songs

A male counterpart to Mr. Ailey’s Cry, this lyrical solo from 1972 offers an emotional journey through love and longing, set to a suite of songs recorded by Donny Hathaway and Nina Simone.

Love Stories

Judith Jamison's dynamic collaboration with hip-hop pioneer Rennie Harris and modern dance maverick Robert Battle

Lullaby For A Jazz Baby

Mary Lou's Mass

Not performed in its entirety in over 35 years, Mary Lou’s Mass showcases the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater dancers in a compelling story about the trials and joys experienced by people everywhere. Alvin Ailey’s joyous collaboration with jazz pianist and composer Mary Lou Williams, two artists who shared roots and memories in the southern church, is a deeply spirited work showcasing Mr. Ailey’s inspired choreography and Ms.

Masekela Langage

Alvin Ailey’s searing portrait of oppression draws parallels between the era of South African apartheid and the race-induced violence in Chicago during the 1960s.


Alvin Ailey’s Memoria is a deeply personal work and one of his most affecting.  Mr. Ailey said that nearly all of his dances had some basis in a relationship, feeling or event that he experienced.  In the case of Memoria, choreographed in 1979, his motivation was the death of his dear friend and colleague, Joyce Trisler.



Minus 16

Featuring an eclectic score ranging from Dean Martin to mambo, techno to traditional Israeli music, Ohad Naharin’s Minus 16 uses improvisation and Naharin’s acclaimed “Gaga” method, a unique movement language that breaks down old habits, pushing the dancers to challenge themselves in new ways.  

Missa Brevis (1958)

Jose Limon created this beautiful and emotional ballet after hearing Zoltan Kodaly’s Missa Brevis in Tempore Belli, a score written at the end of World War II. The ballet’s backdrop is reminiscent of the scene in which Kodaly’s score first premiered—a bombed-out church in Budapest. Limon’s moving choreography celebrates the human spirit overcoming hardships.

Missa Brevis (1974)

Jose Limon created this beautiful and emotional ballet after hearing Zoltan Kodaly’s Missa Brevis in Tempore Belli, a score written at the end of World War II. The ballet’s backdrop is reminiscent of the scene in which Kodaly’s score first premiered—a bombed-out church in Budapest. Limon’s moving choreography celebrates the human spirit overcoming hardships.

Mnemonic Verses

Commissioned by the Alvin Ailey Women’s Choreography Initiative, Mnemonic Verses uses alluring imagery to explore relationships and power struggles between women and men.

Moutain Way Chant


Set to Igor Stravinsky’s Symphonies of Wind Instruments, Myth involves four dancers gracefully experimenting with various spacial relationships.

N.Y. Export, Op. Jazz

The first collaboration between world-renowned choreographer Jerome Robbins and the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, N.Y. Export, Op. Jazz is a timeless piece which conveys our youths’ outlook and their attitude toward this contemporary world—their need for self-expression and identification. Robert Prince’s rhythmic, jazzy score provides an excellent backdrop for this abstract, dynamic ballet. “Jerome Robbins Ballet: USA” first performed the ballet in1958 at the Festival of Two Worlds in Spoleto, Italy.

Night Creature

Alvin Ailey’s Night Creature is a bubbly champagne cocktail of a dance, a perfect fusion of Ailey’s buoyant choreography and Duke Ellington’s sparkling music.  At once wistful and sassy, it beckons viewers into a nocturnal world populated by jazz babies and night owls.

Night Shade

The company performed Night Shade at the Metropolitan Opera House in celebration of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s 25th anniversary. Former company member Ulysses Dove created this exciting ritual dance to the beat of drums for the Groupe de Recherche Choreographic de l’Opera de Paris.

No Longer Silent

Robert Battle’s dramatic ensemble work No Longer Silent, set to Erwin Schulhoff’s percussive score “Ogelala,” features dancers evoking a complex and mysterious ritual. Originally created in 2007 for The Juilliard School, Battle’s alma mater, the work was part of a concert of choreography that brought to life long-forgotten scores by composers whose work the Nazis had banned.


North Star

The fluid, undulating, rippling movements of Lar Lubovitch's North Star are brilliantly performed to composer Philip Glass's haunting score.

Nubian Lady

Ode and Homage


Odetta Holmes – one of the most influential singers of the 20th century – is rediscovered as renowned Ailey dancer Matthew Rushing marries soul-stirring movement to songs by the artist anointed “the queen of American folk music” by Martin Luther King, Jr.

Open Door

Renowned for his fusion of African and modern dance, Brown adds new flavor to his signature style, setting this work to recordings by Arturo O’Farrill & the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra.

Opus McShann

A choreographic portrait of Jay McShann, a great practitioner of  Kansas City jazz. Opus McShann conveys the various styles this jazz master exudes through his music. From the sexy, beguiling duet in Gee Baby Ain’t I Good to You to the comical meandering Doo Wah Doo, Opus McShann presents the jazz doctor as a modern day African-American icon with whom everyone can relate.


Pas de Duke

Pas de Duke is Alvin Ailey’s spirited modern dance translation of a classical pas de deux, originally created in 1976 as a showcase for Judith Jamison and Mikhail Baryshnikov. She was a reigning star of modern dance; he was one of the world’s most famous ballet dancers, having defected from the Soviet Union two years earlier. Ailey made brilliant use of the dancers’ physical and stylistic differences, crafting an elegant, flirtatious work that showed off their exuberance and virtuosity as they engaged in a playful game of one-upmanship.  


Alvin Ailey marked the company’s 20th anniversary season by choreographing this solo for Judith Jamison. In Passage, Ms. Jamison portrayed Marie Laveau, the most powerful voodoo queen in the history of this country. Laveau lived in New Orleans during the 19th century and practiced snake worship, mystical spells, and other magic. To add, she was a master manipulator on the social and political fabrics of the time.


Petite Mort

Visual surprises abound in this tantalizing contemporary ballet, which blends a classical sensibility with a bold, modern wit.  The choreography includes six men, six women, and six fencing foils.


Phases is Alvin Ailey’s startling, classic jazz dance which was choreographed at the height of his artistry. The ballet is divided into five sections, each composed by a significant African American jazz musician:

Piazzolla Caldera

Created in 1997, Paul Taylor’s Piazzolla Caldera is a sensual exposé of tango as reinterpreted and reimagined with modern dance. Taylor honors the tradition of tango, preserving the essence of the form in his choreography. 

The music, composed by Astor Piazzolla and Jerzy Peterburshsky, shapes the work into four distinct sections, a complex and electric landscape where dancers can sway and swivel through the arts of both tango and modern dance.

In a dimly lit club, working class men and women confront each other in sizzling sexual duets and trios: men with women, men with men, and women with women. Two men too drunk for conquests perform a loopy dance as lamplights sway dizzily overhead. A woman, who has searched desperately for a partner but failed to find one, collapses – as if mortally wounded by a night without passion. Taylor has created a series of fiery encounters, in turns playful and predatory, in this passionate homage to tango’s Argentinian working class roots.

Pigs and Fishes



Polish Pieces

In this exuberant ensemble work, Dutch choreographer van Manen displays his mastery for building dazzling creations from simple motifs and geometric patterns. Driven by the rhythms of Henryk Górecki’s score, the dancers come together and disperse in endlessly shifting formations that culminate in two sensual pas de deux.

Portrait of Billie

John Butler brings iconic singer Billie Holiday to vivid life in this poignant portrayal of the artist’s public glory and private demons. Butler’s theatrical movement vocabulary is paired with such familiar songs as “Gee Baby Ain’t I Good to You,” “What a Little Moonlight Can Do” and others in this sensuous, expressive ballet hailed by The New York Times as “Mr. Butler’s finest dance work” that has been “kept alive by Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.”

Prayers From The Edge

Profound images that Lynne Taylor-Corbett witnessed while on tour with the Ailey company in Africa and the Middle East immediately following the Six Day War provide the inspiration for her creation. This powerful, thought-provoking dance work, set to Peter Gabriel's Passion, brings the choreographer-director's experiences in theater, ballet and film to bear on the Ailey dancers' commanding physical and dramatic skills.


Precipice is inspired by the lives of certain stars of pop music, notably Jimi Hendrix and Jim Morrison, who at the peak of their success were constantly driven toward self-destruction. It is in some ways a ballet about loneliness. A ballet where a hero, an idol… a star, trapped by the paradox of his times, finds himself at the top, at the edge of the precipice.


Rainbow Round My Shoulder

Hailed as Donald McKayle’s masterpiece, this powerfully athletic piece portrays the life of men on a prison chain gang. The memories of love and joy that sustain them are personified by a dream figure who appears as sweetheart, mother and wife. By turns lyrical and muscular, McKayle’s sharply theatrical choreography explores the characters’ physical trials and emotional despair with equal intensity.

Read Matthew 11:28

Kris World's high-spirited and witty line dance is set to the infectious, upbeat music of vocal instrumentalist Bobby McFerrin.

Reflections In D

Alvin Ailey originally created this strong yet serene solo in 1962. The ballet is a stunning, masterful expression of Duke Ellington’s music, performed by the formidable Ailey dancers.


Artistic Director Emerita Judith Jamison presents a work inspired by a host of great female jazz artists and by Edward Hopper's famous painting Nighthawks. Jamison's acclaimed 2004 Love Stories was hailed by The New York Times as a "larger-than-life piece d'occasion" that is "astoundingly well danced." This new work sets the choreographer's distinctive vocabulary to music performed by Sarah Vaughan, Ella Fitzgerald, Nina Simone, Roberta Flack, Regina Carter and Diana Krall.


Company member Gary DeLoatch choreographed Research, a ballet set to jazz music concerning “the balance of power between the states of mind and the senses."



Using African-American spirituals, song-sermons, gospel songs and holy blues, Alvin Ailey’s Revelations fervently explores the places of deepest grief and holiest joy in the soul.

Revelations with an Expanded Cast of 50

An expanded cast of 50 dancers fills the stage and theater aisles at select performances.  Embracing the full spectrum of the Ailey family, the first company is joined by dancers from Ailey II and selected students from The Ailey School in Alvin Ailey's signature masterpiece.




Following world-wide acclaim for Hymn, her powerful tribute to Alvin Ailey, Judith Jamison joined forces with Kimati Dinizulu, her musical collaborator for Divining, in the creation of this ballet.


Sacred Concert

Saddle UP!

Characters and tableaus from the Wild West come vibrantly alive in Fredrick Earl Mosley’s exuberant hoedown. Reflecting the joy and romance of Mark O’Connor’s “Appalachian Journey” compositions, this lighthearted ballet illuminates the Ailey artists’ theatricality and their flawless technical prowess.

Sarong Paramaribo

Originally choreographed by Lester Horton especially for Carmen de Lavallade, Sarong Paramaribo demonstrates a meeting of two cultures in its utilization of elements from Asian and African dance. It is the only remaining dance of the suite entitled Estil de Ti.


Set to Maurice Ravel’s “Introduction and Allegro for Harp,” Alvin Ailey’s classical ballet takes place during Grecian times. Three leaping satyrs court three floating nymphs and all joyously dance around an enchanted forest.

Scissors, Paper, Stone

Choreographer Brenda Way used four dancers from her modern dance company ODC/San Francisco to help set this piece. Named after the children’s game and set to a collage of pop recordings, Scissors Paper Stone has jazz movement, speedy changes, and athletic partnering


Serving Nia

Ronald K. Brown is not afraid to ask big questions and address large themes in his choreography. His 1999 sensation Grace depicted indi- viduals on a journey toward grace, or the temple of God. Thematically, Serving Nia picks up where Grace left off.

Seven Journeys

John Butler choreographed Seven Journey as his sixth ballet for the Ailey company. Butler used three eclectic scores to fuse dramatic ballet and modern movements.

Shaken Angels


Shelter is a passionate statement about the physical and emotional deprivation of homeless people. Set to an inventive score which incorporates poetry, this dramatic work delivers the compelling message that the poverty of individuals will inevitably lead to the destitution of all humanity.

Shining Star

David Parsons shows us music everyone knows like it’s never been seen before in Shining Star. A suite of dances performed to the timeless songs of Earth, Wind & Fire, the ballet builds around a central duet that celebrates a deep and lasting love. The two lovers are supported and celebrated by the community of dancers who surround them, rejoicing in the beauty and light that radiate from their commitment.


George Faison, a former Ailey dancer and Tony Award winning choreographer, captures the resilience of the human spirit in this ballet that recreates brutal human bondage in the hold of a slave ship. An eclectic mixture of African rhythms, jazz, and soulful vocals in the musical score contrast with the clanking of chains and shackles worn by the dancers. Mr.


Hans van Manen divides his kinetic Solo among three dancers in a tour de force work that challenges the Ailey men's daring agility and grace. This explosive display of virtuosity and wit launches the men into an exhilarating whirlwind of movement and musicality. The San Francisco Examiner declared that Solo, "epitomizes dance at its essence."

For the December 16, 18 and 19 (evening) performances, the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis will join the Ailey company in a live music collaboration.


Songs Without Words


“Two loves I have of comfort and despair / Which like two spirits do suggest be still!...” –From William Shakespeare Sonnets

Rodney Griffin created Sonnets especially for Dudley Williams, who originally played the part of the Poet. Set to lute music, this sensual yet playful ballet involves an emotional triangle; a mysterious Dark Lady comes between two male lovers, the Poet and the Friend.



“Speeds expresses the sheer joy of dancing. Juxtaposing various combinations of dynamics and speeds of movement, it is a work of energy and virtuosity.” – Jennifer Muller




Strange Humors

Equal parts comedic and combative, Artistic Director Robert Battle’s Strange Humors is an eccentric, jocular display for two dancers.  Composer John Mackey, with whom Battle is a frequent collaborator, provides a fiery score propelled by elements of African hand drumming and Middle Eastern folk music.


Streams is an abstract exploration of bodies in space, danced to a percussion score by Miloslav Kabelac. This standout work was Alvin Ailey’s first full-length dance without a plot. A great success when it premiered in 1970, it was brought back into the active repertory in 2011 during Robert Battle’s inaugural season as artistic director, in homage to Ailey’s legacy and artistry.

Suite Otis

Otis Redding’s sassy, sizzling music sets the stage for George Faison’s playful battle of the sexes.


An impassioned tribute to the profound courage and terrible anguish of Nelson and Winnie Mandela.

Suspended Women

Suspended Women was choreographed in 2000 by the celebrated former Martha Graham Dance Company dancer, prolific choreographer, and master teacher, Jacqulyn Buglisi. Set to music by Maurice Ravel, with interpolations composed by Daniel Bernard Roumain, it has since been recognized as one of her signature works.


Sweet Bitter Love

Sweet Bitter Love was a solo that Ms. de Lavallade choreographed for herself after being inspired by Roberta Flack's performance of her song. "I decided to add the lover into the duet that I was creating for the Ailey company so we would have both the male and female points of view," explained de Lavallade.


Sweet Release


Robert Battle’s bravura work mixes humor and high-flying movement in a savvy deconstruction of Indian Kathak dance rhythms. Clear shapes and propulsive jumps mimic the vocalized syllables of Sheila Chandra's syncopated score.

Tell It Like It Is

The Beloved

The Black Belt

The Blues Ain't

The Cageling

The Evolution of a Secured Feminine

Brown’s signature solo, set for the first time as a trio for other dancers, explores notions of femininity with humor and candor.

The Golden Section

The Golden Section by Tony Award-winning choreographer Twyla Tharp sizzles like never before when performed by the fearless Ailey dancers. Set to a propulsive score by David Byrne, The Golden Section shatters the limits of human physicality with breathtaking leaps, finely-honed partnering and explosive joy. It is “dancing of astonishing beauty and power,” raved The New Yorker.

The Groove To Nobody's Business

Emerging choreographer Camille A. Brown demonstrates why Dance Magazine named her one of their “25 to Watch” in this work that joins her explosive, virtuosic movement with Ray Charles’ music and an original score by rising talent Brandon McCune. Imagining the meeting of strangers on a subway, Brown’s work reveals glimpses of humanity in pedestrian movements and ordinary interactions.

The Hunt

Robert Battle’s The Hunt is a primal ritual with a distinctly urban feel fueled by a thundering percussion soundtrack by Les Tambours du Bronx. Perhaps Battle’s most popular work, it explores the relationship between modern sports and the rites of the gladiators.

The Magic of Katherine Dunham

The Mooche

A musical comedy for the Ellington Bicentennial, Alvin Ailey choreographed this musical comedy also as a dedication to four great performing artists—Florence Mills, Marie Bryant, Mahalia Jackson, and Bessie Smith. Inspired by a series of Ellington’s portraits, The Mooche evokes the jazz era and the emotions behind stardom.

The Pleasure of the Lesson

Award-winning choreographer Robert Moses’ first work for the Ailey company brings arresting visuals, a seductive score and sensual movement for ten dancers. His choreography has been described by The Huffington Post as “a visually delicious beast that never comes short of dazzling the senses.”

The Prodigal Prince

This lavish ballet depicts real and imagined events in the life of the renowned Haitian painter, Hector Hyppolite.

The River

By turns muscular and lyrical, The River is a sweeping full-company work that suggests tumbling rapids and meandering streams on a journey to the sea. Ailey’s allegory of birth, life and rebirth abounds with water references, from the spinning “Vortex” solo to the romantic “Lake” duet, and from the powerful “Falls” quartet to the joyful “Giggling Rapids.” The choreography demonstrates Ailey’s admiration for classical ballet, but retains the modern and jazz influences found in all his work. “The River shows Mr. Ailey at his inventive best,” declared The New York Times.

The Road of the Phoebe Snow

The Phoebe Snow was a train of the Lackawanna Railroad Line which passed through the mid-western section of the United States. Legend has it that its name came from a meticulous lady named Phoebe Snow who traveled the line dressed in white satin and lace and looked out on the surrounding countryside with disdain. The Road of the Phoebe Snow explores first abstractly, then dramatically the incidents that may have occurred on or near these railroad tracks.

The Stack-Up

To the background of a throbbing 1970's beat (including music by Earth, Wind & Fire) and a graffiti landscape, patrons in a crowded disco dance with attitude, sass, and fierce despair. Tough, brutal yet poignant, the stage sizzles with street life, break dancing, and physical pyrotechnics as an aloof drug pusher and two displaced lovers are destined for collision.

The Still Point

“At the still point of the turning world, Neither flesh nor fleshless / Neither from nor toward; at the still point, there the dance is…” –T.S. Eliot, "Burnt-Norton "

The Time Before the Time After (After the Time Before)

An intricate and passionate pas de deux that explores the battle of the sexes. Psychologically riveting, the dancers probe the sensual subtleties of a relationship and bridge stunning athleticism with the purity of classical ballet.

The Twelve Gates

The Wait

The Wedding

The Winter in Lisbon

Dizzy Gillespie's brilliant music sets the tone for this sizzling, sensuous ballet celebrating four decades of his work. Choreographed in 1992 by Billy Wilson, The Winter in Lisbon pays tribute to Mr. Gillespie as the consummate jazz musician, evoking an atmosphere in which the dancers challenge, tease and romance against a backdrop of rhythm and color. "A joyful dance that gives an emotional lift" raved the Associated Press.

Three Black Kings

Sophisticated, lush and alluring, Ellington’s music became part of a legendary collaboration with Alvin Ailey and left an indelible mark on American dance.



George Faison choreographed this playful ballet with a topsy-turvy pinball machine setting.

Time Out Of Mind


An episode from Talley Beatty’s longer work Come and Get the Beauty of it Hot, Toccata is described as “set in streets of New York” and incorporates nuances of classic and other dance styles in a jazz idiom. Set to music by Grammy Award-winning Argentine composer Lalo Schifrin, the piece contains a sequence of ensembles, duets and trios that are danced in an almost declamatory manner as the dancers project their movements toward the audience and seldom toward themselves. 


When Elisa Monte's sculptural, mesmerizing duet had its City Center premiere in 1982, The New York Times declared "Treading gives lovers of fine dancing much to marvel at." The man and woman in Monte's ballet come together in fluid, intricate movements that combine with Steve Reich's evocative music to create an aura of mystery and sensuality.


Artistic Director Robert Battle’s sensuous, swirling duet evokes the tenderness and ecstasy in Gustave Charpentier’s aria. With its fluid grace, this gem exemplifies the choreographer’s skill for nuanced gesture and vivid imagery.

The Opening Night performance at New York City Center (Dec 3) will feature opera superstar Angela Gheorghiu.

Untitled America: First Movement

In the first installment of a 3-part suite to be completed in 2016, Abraham – a MacArthur ‘genius grant’ winner – explores the lasting impact of the prison system on individuals and their families.

Untitled America: Second Movement

For the first time, Ailey has commissioned a work that is being created over multiple seasons. In part 2 of this three-part suite, Abraham continues to explore the impact of incarceration on African-Americans and their families.  At part 1’s 2015 premiere, Dance Magazine wrote: “This is something our culture should be looking at…. Kudos to Ailey—and Abraham—for keeping the revelations relevant.


Created in 2006, Hofesh Shechter’s exhilarating Uprising features seven men who emerge from the shadows to bombard the stage with virile intensity, bonding and sparring in a highly charged work set to a propulsive percussive score by the choreographer himself. Widely considered his breakthrough work, Uprising defined Shechter as a new rebellious voice in dance with an untouchable ability to captivate audiences and set hearts pounding. Utilizing a movement style that is primal and imbued with a certain high-tension energy, the 38-year-old Israeli-born Shechter has risen to become one of Europe’s most sought-after dance creators since his move to London in 2002. Uprising is the first work by Shechter to enter the Ailey repertory.


Take a vibrant tour through the Harlem Renaissance era in all its boisterous, swinging glory.

Urban Folk Dance

In Ulysses Dove’s Urban Folk Dance, two couples living side-by-side search for connection as they engage in ferocious power struggles. Characterized by a seamless blend of expressive theatricality and heart-stopping athleticism, Dove's choreography brilliantly captures the raw complexity of modern relationships.  



Ulysses Dove's bold choreographic voice and daring athleticism are embodied by the phenomenal Ailey women in Vespers, a dramatic work full of raw energy and profound grace.



Amidst a visually arresting stage decor of flickering candles, a female soloist embarks on a spiritual journey that echoes the repeated lyric "my soul is a witness for my Lord." Alvin Ailey drew inspiration from a recording of traditional spirituals sung by Jessye Norman to create this stirring ballet celebrating the strength, elegance and versatility of the Ailey woman.