Art Life / News / February 17, 2017

The Music Center, L.A.’s performing arts destination, welcomes Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater on March 8 – 12, 2017 as part of the Glorya Kaufman Presents Dance at The Music Center 2016-2017 season at The Music Center’s Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. The company will perform three different programs during the five-day engagement. This engagement will include the West Coast premieres of Untitled America, r-Evolution, Dream., and Deep. All programs will also include Ailey’s must-see American masterpiece Revelations. Many of the works connect directly with the African American experience, a founding tenet of the company.

Supported with commissioning funds by The Music Center, r-Evolution, Dream., choreographed by veteran Ailey company member Hope Boykin, is inspired by the speeches and sermons of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The piece highlights the current relevance of Dr. King’s messages and reflects on the African American community’s past struggles along with the challenges it continues to face today. Untitled America, created by MacArthur “genius grant” winner Kyle Abraham, shines a light on the impact of the prison system on African American families. Deep, choreographed by Mauro Bigonzetti, is a soulful and elegant work set to music by rising global music stars Ibeyi. The Company will perform Robert Battle’s Ella and Billy Wilson’s The Winter in Lisbon, celebrating the birth centennials of jazz legends Ella Fitzgerald and Dizzy Gillespie, respectively. A new production of Alvin Ailey’s rarely-seen masterwork Masekela Langage and Robert Battle’s bold, unrestrained solo In/Side are also part of the three different programs.

“Performances by Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater are a tradition at The Music Center, and we are thrilled to welcome this iconic dance company back to Los Angeles to share the many poignant and thought-provoking pieces in their repertoire,” said Rachel Moore, president and CEO of The Music Center. “With the vision of Artistic Director Robert Battle and courageous storytelling of choreographers like Hope Boykin, Kyle Abraham and Mauro Bigonzetti, the company’s performances present audiences with important perspectives on issues that our communities continue to grapple with, providing us a platform for dialogue and offering a message of hope.”

“Los Angeles audiences have always appreciated Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s keen ability to use dance to relay stories that are highly relevant and incredibly powerful,” said Michael Solomon, vice president, presentations and education. “From Ailey classics such as Revelations to the West Coast premieres of r-Evolution, Dream. and Untitled America, audiences will be enthralled by the captivating choreography and inspired by the tenderness and strength that are synonymous with Ailey performances.”

Boykin found inspiration in the words of Dr. King when creating r-Evolution, Dream. The large ensemble work blends creative storytelling with new music by Ali Jackson of Jazz at Lincoln Center and historical and original writings narrated by Tony Award winner Leslie Odom, Jr. (Hamilton). With Dr. King’s words as a guide throughout the performance, Boykin focuses on the evolution within everyone and how that progress can impact the greater community.  Abraham’s Untitled America explores the people left behind when a family member is imprisoned. With narration by those impacted by incarceration along with spiritual and contemporary music, the piece fuses many facets of dance and highlights Abraham’s distinct movement style and avant-garde aesthetic. Brian Seibert of The New York Times described Abraham’s work in Untitled America as “…potent and explosive and wonderfully of the moment.” Wendy Perron of Dance Magazine stated, “This is something our culture should be looking at, and Abraham has found a way to do that.”

The three programs include:

r-Evolution, Dream.
Choreography: Hope Boykin
Music: Ali Jackson
Narration: Leslie Odom, Jr.
Lighting Design: Al Crawford
Costume Design: Hope Boykin

Untitled America
Choreography: Kyle Abraham
Music: Laura Mvula, Raime, Carsten Nicolai, Kris Bowers and Traditional
Lighting and Scene Design: Dan Scully
Costume Design: Karen Young

Choreography: Mauro Bigonzetti
Music: Ibeyi
Lighting Design: Carlo Cerri
Costume Design: Jon Taylor

Choreography: Alvin Ailey
Music: Various Artists
Lighting Design: Nicola Cernovitch
Costume Design: Ves Harper

Choreography: Robert Battle
Music: Ella Fitzgerald
Lighting Design: Burke Wilmore
Costume Design: Jon Taylor

Walking Mad
Choreography: Johan Inger
Music: Maurice Ravel and Arvo Pärt
Lighting Design: Erik Berglund
Costume Design: Johan Inger

The Winter in Lisbon
Choreography: Billy Wilson
Music: Dizzy Gillespie and Charles Fishman
Lighting Design: Chenault Spence
Costume Design: Barbara Forbes

Masekela Langage
Choreography: Alvin Ailey
Music: Hugh Masekela
Lighting Design: Chenault Spence
Costume Design: A. Christina Giannini

Choreography: Robert Battle
Music: Nina Simone
Lighting Design: Burke Wilmore
Embodying the complexities and contradictions of the human condition, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater uses the African American cultural experience and the American modern dance tradition to inspire a universal celebration of the human spirit. The company is celebrated for its memorable performance of treasured classics and its commitment to bold new dance styles. The Huffington Post encouraged readers to be “…carried away on a cloud by Alvin Ailey…” during this season.

Tickets for Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater performances at The Music Center start at $34 and are available online at; at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion Box Office, 135 N. Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, CA, 90012; or by calling (213) 972-0711. For groups of 10 or more, call (213) 972-8555 or email


r-Evolution, DreamChoreography: Hope BoykinAlvin Ailey American Dance TheaterCredit Photo: Paul Kolnikstudio@paulkolnik.comnyc 212-362-7778

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