Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s 2019 Holiday Opening Night Gala Benefit Performance And Party Honors Philanthropist Elaine Wynn & The Elaine P. Wynn & Family Foundation

One-Night-Only Program Will Include Two Merce Cunningham Centennial Solos and Special Performance to Memorialize Opera Great Jessye Norman

Celebration Launches Ailey’s Holiday Season at New York City Center, December 4 – January 5

The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater will launch a five-week holiday season on December 4 with a star-studded gala benefit performance at New York City Center and party at the New York Hilton Midtown Grand Ballroom. The special evening celebrates philanthropist Elaine Wynn and the Elaine P. Wynn & Family Foundation. Wynn’s generous contributions have supported the creation of new works as well as the Elaine Wynn & Family Education Wing, which in 2017 added three floors – featuring four dance studios and two classrooms – to The Joan Weill Center for Dance, New York’s largest building dedicated to dance.

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The one-night only performance at 7pm will feature two Merce Cunningham Centennial Solos that were part of this year’s 100th anniversary celebration of his birth – marking the first time this landmark choreographer’s work will be seen on the Ailey stage – as well as a special excerpt of Artistic Director Robert Battle’s Channels to honor and memorialize opera great Jessye Norman, set to her recorded performance of a Johannes Brahms lied – a 19th -century German art song. Following the inspiring finale of Revelations, performed with live music, prominent figures in the worlds of entertainment, business, philanthropy and politics will join Robert Battle and Ailey’s extraordinary dancers for a dinner/dance in the Hilton New York Grand Ballroom.

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theaters Solomon Dumas.
The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater will launch a five-week holiday season on December 4 with a star-studded gala benefit performance at New York City Center. Photo by Andrew Eccles

The event’s co-chairs are Emily & Len Blavatnik, Paulette Mullings Bradnock & Howard Bradnock, Melody Hobson & George Lucas, Daria L. & Eric J. Wallach and Joan & Sandy Weill. Proceeds from the annual benefit will support the creation of new works, scholarships to The Ailey School, and Ailey’s educational programs for children.

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in Alvin Ailey’s Revelations Performed with Live Music. Photo by Christopher Duggan.

Ailey’s holiday season features special programs such as an evening celebrating The Ailey School’s 50th Anniversary (December 10); a tribute performance for Associate Artistic Director Masazumi Chaya, which will highlight his extensive career of nearly five decades as he concludes his final season with the Company (December 22); and world premieres Greenwood (December 6), a powerful work by Donald Byrd that draws on the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre and Ode (December 10), offering a meditation on the beauty and fragility of life in a time of growing gun violence by Ailey dancer and Resident Choreographer Jamar Roberts.

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s Jacqueline Green. Photo by Andrew Eccles

Call 212-405-9031 or visit www.alvinailey.org/support/opening-night-gala-benefit for tickets. Tickets for the full season running December 4 through January 5, starting at $29, are on sale now at the New York City Center Box Office, through CityTix® at (212) 581-1212, or at www.alvinailey.org or www.nycitycenter.org.

Delta Air Lines is the Official Airline of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s New York Winter Season. American Express is the Official Card of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater gratefully acknowledges the support of Diageo, North America.

Opening Night Gala Sponsors: BNY Mellon, Diageo and EHE Health. The world premiere of Ode is supported by commissioning funds from New York City Center. The 2019 Winter Season is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.