Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
Alvin Ailey Pressroom

Tour Kicks Off During Black History Month with Relevant and Timely World Premieres:
Ailey Dancer Hope Boykins’ r-Evolution, Dream., Inspired by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Sermons and Speeches and Kyle Abraham’s Untitled America, About the Impact of the Incarceration System on African-American Families

Other Highlights Include the World Premiere of Mauro Bigonzetti’s Deep, Set to Music by Ibeyi, the Company Premiere of Johan Inger’s Walking Mad, and New Productions of Billy Wilson’s The Winter in Lisbon and Alvin Ailey’s Masekela Langage

Prior to the Tour, Ailey’s Lincoln Center at the Movies: Great American Dance Film Airs on PBS, November 4 and the Company’s Annual Holiday Season Takes Place at New York City Center November 30 – December 31

Following an expansive five-week holiday season at New York City Center from November 30 – December 31, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater will share its unparalleled artistry with audiences from coast to coast during a 19-city North American tour beginning February 3rd in Philadelphia, PA. On February 7th, a week-long engagement at The Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. kicks off with a gala to benefit Ailey's D.C. programs, including the creation of new works, arts-in-education activities, and scholarships to talented young area dancers to attend The Ailey School in New York. Other major cities throughout the tour include Atlanta, Miami, Los Angeles, Mexico City, and Boston, culminating with a Mother’s Day performance in Newark on May 14th.

Alvin Ailey’s pioneering legacy of uplifting, uniting, and celebrating the human spirit continues to grow as Ailey’s 32 remarkable dancers – led by Artistic Director Robert Battle – bring a variety of premieres, new productions, and returning favorites to life. The tour begins during Black History Month, and world premieres connected to the African-American experience, a founding tenet of the company, take center stage. Ailey dancer Hope Boykin’s r-Evolution, Dream. was inspired by the speeches and sermons of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. she encountered during a visit to the National Center for Civil and Human Rights in Atlanta during the company’s annual U.S. tour. The large ensemble work melds creative storytelling with new music by Ali Jackson (Jazz at Lincoln Center) and historical and original writings narrated by Tony Award winner Leslie Odom, Jr. (Hamilton). MacArthur “Genius” Kyle Abraham’s completed three-part Untitled America suite shines a light on the impact of the prison system on African-American families. Developed over three seasons, the haunting production features interviews by those impacted by incarceration and Abraham’s signature avant-garde aesthetic.  

The tour also includes Italian choreographer Mauro Bigonzetti’s 2016 season world premiere Deep. This elegant and soulful melding of European, American, and African cultures is set to songs by Ibeyi, twin sisters who sing in English and Yoruba and are rising global music stars.

North American audiences will also have to opportunity to experience Johan Inger’s heart-stopping company premiere, Walking Mad. This riveting work – a daring contemporary take on Maurice Ravel’s Boléro, with additional music by minimalist master Arvo Pärt – brings waves of emotion and employs a long, movable wall that can also be viewed as a symbol of the barriers people construct in their relationships.   

The Company will also perform to the sounds of celebrated jazz legends in two vibrant new productions. Billy Wilson’s The Winter in Lisbon (1992) pays tribute to consummate musician Dizzy Gillespie, evoking an atmosphere in which the dancers challenge, tease and romance against a backdrop of rhythm, color, and four decades of his brilliant music. Alvin Ailey’s Masekela Langage (1969) is a searing portrait of oppression that draws parallels between the era of South African apartheid and the race-induced violence in Chicago during the 1960s.  Trumpeter and composer Hugh Masekela’s driving music propels the dancers through a string of theatrical tableaus, as the commanding choreography speaks of passivity, militancy, despair and defiance anywhere, at any time.

The tour will also include a number of returning favorites, and of course, Alvin Ailey’s American masterpiece Revelations – the most widely-seen and treasured modern dance work in the world.  

Viewers across the country have the chance to see this signature classic, among other dynamic works, during the PBS broadcast of Ailey’s Lincoln Center at the Movies film on Friday, November 4 at 9:00pm (check your local listings). Ailey’s spectacular range, diversity, and artistry, are showcased in this episode (directed by Matthew Diamond), which features Chroma by Wayne McGregor, Grace by Ronald K. Brown, Takademe by Artistic Director Robert Battle, and culminates with the beloved Revelations. Catch the PBS broadcast this fall, then see the Company perform new works live in the spring. 

Beloved as one of the world’s most popular dance companies, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater continues to inspire all during the 2016-2017 season, nearly 60 years after its founding. For more information, visit

February 3-4
Philadelphia, PA | Merriam Theater

February 7–12
Washington, DC | John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts

February 15-19
Atlanta, GA | The Fox Theatre

February 21
Sarasota, FL | Van Wezel Theater

February 23-26
Miami, FL  | Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts

February 27
Orlando, FL | Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, Walt Disney Theater

February 28
West Palm Beach, FL | Dreyfoos Hall, Raymond F. Kravis Center for the Performing Arts

March 3-4
Kansas City, MO | Carlsen Center, Yardley Hall

March 8-12
Los Angeles, CA | Los Angeles Music Center, Dorothy Chandler Pavilion

March 14–19
Berkeley, CA | Zellerbach Hall, University of California at Berkeley

March 22–26
Chicago, IL | Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University

March 28
San Antonio, TX | Tobin Center for the Performing Arts, H-E-B Performance Hall

March 31-April 1
Dallas, TX | AT&T Performing Arts Center, Winspear Opera House

April 7-9
Mexico City, MEX | Auditorio Nacional

April 18-19
East Lansing, MI | Wharton Center, Cobb Great Hall

April 21-23
Detroit, MI | Detroit Opera House

April 25
Amherst, MA | UMass Amherst Fine Arts Center

April 27-30
Boston, MA  | Wang Theatre, Citi Performing Arts Center

May 12-14
Newark, NJ | New Jersey Performing Arts Center