Monday, December 9, 2013

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater Launches 2013-14 Season with Opening Night Gala Benefit

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Honorary Event Chair Gabrielle Union, Joan Smalls and Ailey Artistic Director Robert Battle
at Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater's 2013 opening night gala in New York City.

Event featured company premiere of Chroma and a live musical performance of Revelations

NEW YORK, NY – Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s 2013-14 New York season kicked off with an Opening Night Gala benefit on Wednesday, December 4th at New York City Center, raising over 2.4 million dollars for the creation of new works and Alvin Ailey’s extensive educational programs for young people, including AileyCamp and scholarships to The Ailey School.

Hosted by honorary chair Gabrielle Union, the gala was attended by prominent figures in the worlds of entertainment, business, philanthropy and politics.

The curtain went up with an exhilarating company premiere of Wayne McGregor’s Chroma, a ballet filled with layered beautiful dancing, astonishing lifts and a luminous set.  The Ailey company premiere, made possible with generous support of New York City Center, marks the first time a work by this multi award-winning British choreographer appears in the Ailey repertory.  The gala performance concluded with Alvin Ailey’s timeless masterpiece Revelations, which was accompanied by live music.

The celebration continued at the gala after party in the Hilton New York’s Grand Ballroom with Ailey’s Board of Trustees led by Chair Joan Weill and President Daria L. Wallach with 1,000 guests including models Joan Smalls and Carolyn Murphy, actor Taye Diggs, BET Chairman and CEO Debra L. Lee, chef Marcus Samuelsson, actor/singer Tristan “Mack Wilds,” opera star Jessye Norman, Elaine Wynn of Wynn Resorts, David & Karen Peetz, Delores Browne, Ebonie & Rossi Thurman, Steven & Daryl Roth, Ailey Artistic Director Emerita Judith Jamison and many more who joined in dinner and dancing with the stars of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.

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Robert Battle with Event Co-Chairs Kathryn and Kenneth Chenault

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American Ballet Theatre Soloist Misty Copeland and Gala Vice Chair Valentino D. Carlotti; 
Ailey Executive Director Bennett Rink with Event Co-Chairs Daria L. & Eric J. Wallach

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Robert Battle and Ailey Chairman, Board of Trustees Joan Weill

Event co-chairs were Simin Allison & in memory, Herb Allison, Kathryn & Kenneth Chenault, Daria L. Foster & Erich J. Wallach, Agnes & Gerald Hassell, Debra L. Lee and Joan & Sandy Weill. Benefit sponsors included American Express, BET Networks, BNY Mellon and Joan & Sandy Weill and the Weill Family Foundation. The official sponsor of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s New York Season is Wells Fargo.

Ailey’s exciting season, the 25th since the passing of legendary founder Alvin Ailey, continues throughout the holidays in New York, then tours 23 cities across North America beginning in February. For more information visit

Source:  Press release/Photo credits: Dario Calmese, Christopher Duggan

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