Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater's Revelations.
Photo by Gert Krautbauer
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Dance That Speaks to Everyone
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater

Featuring Nine OC Premieres Plus The Ailey Classic, Revelations!

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater video

Beloved as one of the world's most popular dance companies, Alvin Ailey's pioneering legacy of uplifting, uniting and celebrating the human spirit lives on in the extraordinary dancers of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. The company returns for its sixth appearance at the Center April 7 – 10 with an exciting roster of new works and beloved favorites—from the founder's masterwork, Revelations, to dances that speak to the time we inhabit—in five mixed programs. Renowned for its versatility, passion, athleticism and virtuosity, the Ailey company connects with audiences in emotionally powerful ways. This is an engagement that will bring fans to their feet.

Awakening is a 2015 work featuring Robert Battle's signature taut, ritualistic choreographic style. Buoyed by the complex rhythmic quality of American composer John Mackey's music, Ailey dancers lead the audience on a cathartic journey in this powerful dance of dissonance and harmony, chaos and resolution.

Jacqueline Green in Alvin Ailey's Cry. Photo by Paul Kolnik

In 1971, Alvin Ailey choreographed the ballet, Cry, as a birthday present for his mother; it went on to become an enduring work of American art. This solo is dedicated to "all black women everywhere—especially our mothers." The female soloist represents all black women, depicting their African origins, the trials and tribulations they have endured and their joyful triumph over those hardships.

Exemplifying his view of hip hop as a "celebration of life," acclaimed hip-hop choreographer Rennie (Lorenzo) Harris 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 spoken word.

Love Songs, a dramatic tour-de-force, is often viewed as the male counterpart to Cry. Love Songs offers a message of hope and commitment as it traces the dancer's journey through love, anguish, and determination to overcome adversity. The work gives the male dancer a unique opportunity to display both power and gentleness.

Jamar Roberts and Jacqueline Green in A Case of You from Judith Jamison's Reminiscin'. Photo by Paul Kolnik

A Case of You is an emotional and sensual duet choreographed by Judith Jamison and performed to Diana Krall's version of Joni Mitchell's song by the same title. The New York Times calls it "A steamy, emotionally intense duet."

No Longer Silent features the imaginative interplay of four groups of dancers evoking a complex and mysterious ritual to Jewish composer Erwin Schulhoff's percussive score Ogelala. It originated as part of a dance program that brought to life long-forgotten scores by composers whose work was banned by the Nazis. Schulhoff (who died in a concentration camp in 1942), was one of the first generation of classical composers to find inspiration in the rhythms of jazz music. The New York Times calls it "highly imaginative and artistically exceptional."

Alvin Ailey's Blues Suite. Photo by Paul Kolnik.

In Blues Suite, 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. This is Ailey's original masterpiece that launched the Company during its first performance in 1958.

Acclaimed choreographer Ronald K. Brown's Cuban-inspired Open Door is set to the music of Arturo O'Farrill and the Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra, including songs from their recently released album which was recorded in Havana days after President Obama announced the normalization of relations between our countries. Cuba inspired much of the movement, from the salsa partnering to the references to Elegba—the Santería god who opens pathways. The title hints at the power of dance and music as vehicles for culture and compassion.

Rachael McLaren and Marcus Jarrell Willis in
Matthew Rushing's Odetta. Photo by Mike Strong

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 "Queen of American folk music" by Martin Luther King, Jr. Odetta pays tribute to Holmes's life as a singer, songwriter, actress, activist and "the voice of the Civil Rights Movement."

FREE: April 3, Arts Plaza
Join us at the Arts Plaza for a free joyous celebration of dance and expression as we celebrate the iconic Alvin Ailey masterpiece Revelations
CLICK HERE for more information about Revelations Celebration.

April 6
New to Ailey? Join us for Discover Ailey and see what all the fuss is about. All seats are just $29 for this special, 60-minute performance, which offers the perfect introduction to the incomparable energy, artistry and spirit of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, including their signature piece, Revelations.

Discover Ailey
Dates: April 6, 2016
Tickets: $29

Buy Tickets


Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
Dates: April 7 – 10, 2016
Tickets: $29 and up

Buy Tickets

For tickets and information, visit
or call (714) 556-2787.
Group services: (714) 755-0236

With special underwriting support from:
Tim and Mary Harward

The Center's International Dance Series is made possible by:
Audrey Steele Burnand Endowed Fund for International Dance
The Segerstrom Foundation Endowment for Great Performances

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