Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s two-week spring engagement at Lincoln Center’s David H. Koch Theater kicked off with The Ailey Spirit Gala, a one-night-only benefit performance and party honoring the Ford Foundation on Wednesday, June 10.
The second annual Ailey Spirit Gala benefit performance at showcased the world-renowned Ailey dancers in excerpts of Matthew Rushing’s ODETTA and in Robert Battle’s Takademe. The rising stars of Ailey II performed an excerpt of Manuel Vignoulle’s Breakthrough, gifted young dancers from The Ailey School (ages 6 to 23) showcased their talents and the breadth of the program’s training in a yet to be titled work, and talented students from AileyCamp performed a work inspired by Christopher Huggins’ Anointed. An expanded cast of the present and future stars of Ailey came together for a memorable finale of Alvin Ailey’s timeless Revelations. Following the performance, a dance party on the promenade was driven by the musical stylings of deejay to the stars, DJ M.O.S.
The benefit, sponsored by FedEx, featured supermodel and actor Tyson Beckford as honorary chair. Gala Co-Chairs included Gina F. Adams, Ricki Lander, Almaz & Marc S. Strachan, and Daria L. & Eric J. Wallach. Gala Vice Chairs are Michele & Timothy Barakett, Dr. N. Anthony & Robyn Coles, Leslie & Tom Maheras, and Pamela D. Zilly & John H. Schaefer.
Attendees, including confirmed celebrity guests Naturi Naughton, Janet Mock and Robert Kraft, witnessed the impact of their charitable giving firsthand as Ailey’s talented young students take the stage. Gala proceeds support scholarships to The Ailey School and Ailey’s Arts In Education & Community Programs—including AileyCamp, an innovative, full-scholarship summer program that uses the art of dance as a means to help young people stretch their minds, bodies and spirits. In all, these programs serve more than 100,000 young people annually. For more information on benefit tickets starting at $500 call 212-405-9031.
Led by Artistic Director Robert Battle, Ailey’s 15-performance engagement runs through June 21 and includes the world premiere of Exodus by bold hip-hop choreographer Rennie Harris, new productions of Talley Beatty’s Toccata and Judith Jamison’s A Case of You, and the Company premiere of Robert Battle’s No Longer Silent. For further information, and to purchase tickets starting at $25, please visit www.alvinailey.org.