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Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater includes Midwest premieres, Ailey classics
2019-12-12

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( CHICAGO, IL ) — The Auditorium Theatre announces programming for Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater's March 4-8, 2020 performances in Chicago, featuring Midwest premieres and Ailey classics. The company gives the Midwest premiere to three works: Ode, created by Ailey dancer and the company's first-ever Resident Choreographer Jamar Roberts; Greenwood, Donald Byrd's ensemble work inspired by the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre; and Ounce of Faith, Darrell Grand Moultrie's ode to teachers and mentors. The engagement also includes Chicago premieres of BUSK, Aszure Barton's 2009 work premiered by the Ailey company in 2019, and The Call by Ronald K. Brown, a joyous mix of modern and West African dance. The company brings new productions of Ailey Artistic Director Emerita Judith Jamison's Divining and Lar Lubovitch's Fandango, along with audience favorites In/Side and Ella by Ailey Artistic Director Robert Battle. Keeping with Chicago tradition, every performance ends with company founder Alvin Ailey's masterpiece Revelations.

"The Auditorium Theatre is proud to have this world-class dance company as one of its Visiting Resident Companies, and our 130th anniversary season would not be complete without them," says Rich Regan, Auditorium Theatre CEO. "I still remember my first time seeing Revelations, which moved me in a way that I had never before experienced while watching dance. It is an honor to present Ailey every year and to share this legendary company with the city of Chicago."

Program A ( March 4 at 7:30PM and March 7 at 2PM ) features the Chicago premiere of internationally-renowned choreographer Aszure Barton's BUSK, an intricate ensemble work that invites audience members to revel in the fragility, tenderness, and resilience that exist within the human experience. Barton is the founder of Aszure Barton & Artists and has created works for companies including English National Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, and Hubbard Street Dance Chicago. BUSK is Barton's second work for the Ailey company, following 2013's LIFT. Program A also includes the Midwest premiere of Jamar Roberts' Ode, a meditation on the beauty and delicateness of life in a time of growing gun violence. Roberts, who began dancing with the Ailey company in 2002, was named Ailey's first-ever Resident Choreographer in 2019. Ode is his second work for the company and the first in a series of three new works he is creating as Resident Choreographer.

Program B ( March 5 at 7:30PM and March 8 at 3PM ) features a new production of Ailey Artistic Director Emerita Judith Jamison's Divining, a 1984 work that builds on dance idioms from across Africa to create a pulsating, contemporary work; and a new production of Lar Lubovitch's 1990 piece Fandango, which entered the Ailey repertory in 1995 but hasn't been performed by the company in over a decade. Lubovitch, a Chicago native, was the founder of the Chicago Dancing Festival and has choreographed works for The Joffrey Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, and Martha Graham Dance Company, among others. Program B also includes Jamison's emotional, sensual duet A Case of You and Robert Battle's heartbreaking solo In/Side, set to Nina Simone's "Wild Is the Wind."

Program C ( March 6 at 7:30PM ) features the Midwest premiere of Darrell Grand Moultrie's ballet Ounce of Faith, a work for 12 dancers that celebrates the lasting impact of a teacher's influence on a young child. Ounce of Faith is Moultrie's first work for the Ailey company, and he has previously created works for companies including Atlanta Ballet, Milwaukee Ballet, and Ailey II, among others. The program also includes the Midwest premiere of frequent Ailey collaborator Donald Byrd's Greenwood, a riveting work that draws inspiration from the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre and explores the story through different lenses of those who were affected.

Program D ( March 7 at 8PM ) features the Chicago debut of Ronald K. Brown's The Call, which had its world premiere in 2018. Considered "a love letter to Mr. Ailey," The Call seamlessly blends modern and West African dance. Brown has created multiple works for the Ailey company, including Grace ( 1999 ) and Four Corners ( 2013 ). Program D also includes the return of Ailey Artistic Director Robert Battle's sizzling duet Ella, set to music by Ella Fitzgerald.

All programs conclude with company founder Alvin Ailey's masterpiece Revelations, which premiered in 1960 and has been the company's signature work for 60 years. Revelations is an intimate reflection inspired by Ailey's own childhood memories of attending services at Mount Olive Baptist Church in Texas and by the work of writers James Baldwin and Langston Hughes.

On Friday, March 6, the company performs a special one-hour Student Matinee program for Chicagoland students in grades K-12, featuring an excerpt from the Ounce of Faith ballet and Revelations.

SONIA FLORIAN — International Dance Sponsor

CIBC and THE ROBERT THOMAS BOBINS FOUNDATION — Student Matinee Sponsors

AVISON YOUNG — Opening Night Sponsor

This engagement is supported by the Arts Midwest Touring Fund, a program of Arts Midwest that is funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, with additional contributions from the Illinois Arts Council Agency and the Crane Group.

About Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater inspires all in a universal celebration of the human spirit using the African-American cultural experience and the American modern dance tradition. 60 years after its founding, Ailey continues to move forward under the leadership of Robert Battle, revealing time and again why Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater is one of the world's most beloved dance companies.

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater event details:

Wednesday, March 4 | 7:30PM

Program A: BUSK / Ode / Revelations

Thursday, March 5 | 7:30PM

Program B: Divining, A Case of You / Fandango, In/Side / Revelations

Friday, March 6 | 11AM — One hour Student Matinee

Ounce of Faith ( excerpt ) / Revelations

Friday, March 6 | 7:30PM

Program C: Ounce of Faith / Greenwood / Revelations

Saturday, March 7 | 2PM

[Family matinee followed by Post-Show Q&A featuring Ailey dancers and staff]

Program A: BUSK / Ode / Revelations

Saturday, March 7 | 8PM

Program D: The Call, Ella / Ode / Revelations

Sunday, March 8 | 3PM

Program B: Divining, A Case of You / Fandango, In/Side / Revelations

Tickets start at $35 and are available online here, by phone at 312.341.2300, or in person at the Auditorium Theatre Box Office ( 50 E Ida B Wells Dr ). Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater is part of the International Dance Series subscription, which offers a 25% discount and also includes American Ballet Theatre and the Bolshoi Ballet. Discounted tickets for groups of 10 or more people are also available.

Student Matinee tickets ( for K-12 groups of 10 or more people ) are $12 and are available by phone at 312.341.2300. Inquiries regarding Student Matinee tickets may also be submitted online here.

The Auditorium Theatre also offers $20 student rush tickets to full-time college students and $5 tickets to young people ages 13-19 with Urban Gateways' Teen Arts Pass program. The Auditorium Theatre's ADMIT ONE program offers complimentary tickets to Chicago-area community groups.

For a full list of upcoming events at the Auditorium Theatre, visit AuditoriumTheatre.org

Upcoming Events at the Auditorium Theatre

December 12-December 29: The Joffrey Ballet — The Nutcracker

January 18+19: Too Hot to Handel: The Jazz-Gospel Messiah

January 26: National Geographic Live — On the Trail of Big Cats

February 12-23: The Joffrey Ballet — The Times Are Racing

February 29: Trinity Irish Dance Company

March 4-8: Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater

March 9: Yundi Li SONATA

March 10: National Geographic Live — Adventures Among Orangutans

March 14: Shin Lim

March 19-22: American Ballet Theatre

About The Auditorium Theatre

The Auditorium Theatre, located at 50 E Ida B Wells Dr at Roosevelt University in Chicago, is an Illinois, not-for-profit organization committed to presenting the finest in international, cultural, community, and educational programming to all of Chicago and beyond as The Theatre for the People. The organization also is committed to the continued restoration and preservation of the National Historic Landmark.

The Auditorium Theatre 2019-20 Season is made possible in part with support from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Illinois Arts Council, and the Palmer House, a Hilton Hotel. Chicago Magazine is the official magazine sponsor. For more information about programming, volunteer, and donor opportunities or theatre tours, please call 312.341.2310 or visit AuditoriumTheatre.org . For a complete listing of events at the Auditorium Theatre, please click here.

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater's Solomon Dumas, photo by Todd Rosenberg. | Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater's Khalia Campbell, photo by Andrew Eccles. | Auditorium Theatre, photo by Carlos Rosas.


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