Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s Historic Return To South Africa After 17 Years
Scheduled For September With First Visit Led By Artistic Director Robert Battle
America’s Cultural Ambassador To The World Presenting Inspiring Performances In Johannesburg And Cape Town As Well As
Educational Activities For Area Students
The highly acclaimed New York-based Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, one of the world’s most popular global dance companies, is planning an historic return to South Africa in September after 17 years with a robust schedule of 20 performances and a variety of educational activities for area students. The first visit to this continent led by Artistic Director Robert Battle includes a 13-performance engagement in Johannesburg at the Teatro at Montecasino from Thursday, 3 September to Sunday, 13 September 2015 and seven shows in Cape Town at Artscape, from 16 to 20 September 2015. Presented by leading local promoters Showtime Management together with Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation, the visit is made possible by lead sponsor Bloomberg Philanthropies with major support from the Ford Foundation and assistance from travel and freight partners South African Airways and South African Airways Cargo. Tickets are on sale at Computicket.
“Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater last visited Johannesburg in 1998 and we are delighted to welcome back this iconic dance company for a groundbreaking return” says local promoter, Hazel Feldman of Showtime Management. Previously, Time Magazine proclaimed that “The Ailey company’s tour leaves South Africa dancing in the aisles.” Audiences and critics the world-over rave about the performance, presentation and uniqueness of this dance phenomenon. “Unbelievable. Go see Alvin Ailey. It’s change-your-life good” says The Today Show while The Miami Herald claims; “… a distinctive profile – theatrical, energetic, heartfelt with powerhouse dancers – that has helped make it the most successful and widely seen modern dance company in the world.”
Recognized by U.S. Congressional resolution as a vital American “Cultural Ambassador to the World” Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater grew from a nowfabled March 1958 performance in New York that changed forever the perception of American dance. Guided by Judith Jamison for 22 years beginning in 1989, the Company has been led since 2011 by Robert Battle. Battle recently accepted the 2014 Presidential Medal of Freedom – the United State’s highest civilian honor – on behalf of legendary founder Alvin Ailey. President Obama proclaimed that “through him, African-American history was told in a way that it had never been told before — with passionate, virtuoso dance performances that transfixed audiences worldwide.” Carrying on a legacy of inspiring, uniting and enlightening on the tour, Ailey’s extraordinary dancers will bring life to a wide variety of new and classic works.
“Extending the Ailey company’s five decades of far-reaching international tours, and memorable visits to South Africa, I’m proud to lead the Company back to this continent for the first time this century” stated Robert Battle, Artistic Director since 2011. “Mr. Ailey said it so well; ‘Dance came from the people and should always be delivered back to the people.’ I’m excited for audiences to share in uplifting performances, and for students to experience life-changing interactions with the world’s most amazing dancers.”
There are two alternating programmes of approximately 2 hours each, both ending with Alvin Ailey’s Revelations, an American masterpiece set to spirituals that is acclaimed as a must-see for all. Alvin Ailey’s signature piece is a tribute to his heritage and a testament to his genius, exploring places of deepest grief and holiest joy in the soul.
Exodus, a highly anticipated season world premiere by bold hip-hop choreographer Rennie Harris, will be performed to a soul-lifting score of gospel house music. Rennie (Lorenzo) Harris has been known to mix Shakespeare with hip hop, poetry, rap music and movement and is a pioneer in performing, choreographing, teaching and revolutionizing contemporary concert dance by introducing the African-American dance form hip hop to a worldwide audience.
In Polish Pieces, Dutch choreographer Hans van Manen displays his mastery for building dazzling creations from simple motifs and geometric patterns. Driven by the rhythms of Henryk Górecki’s score, the 12 dancers in this colorful ensemble work create a brilliant kaleidoscope through endlessly shifting formations that culminate in two sensual pas de deux.
Christopher Wheeldon’s dreamlike After the Rain Pas de Deux – praised for its sublime simplicity and intricate partnering – was an instant hit on New York City Ballet in 2005. Set to music by the Estonian composer Arvo Pärt, the sensual male-female pas de deux will be revealed in a fresh light as the Ailey dancers make it their own.
Other works to be performed include repertory favorites Night Creature, Alvin Ailey’s homage to the musical genius of eminent American composter Duke Ellington; the spiritually-charged work Grace by celebrated choreographerRonald K. Brown; and Battle’s own high-flying and humorous solo, Takademe.
The Ailey organization continues its mission of using dance to educate young people through special student performances, lecture-demonstrations, workshops, and master classes on the tour. Extensive educational activities are being planned in both Johannesburg and Cape Town and the surrounding areas. Interestingly, two South African dancers/choreographers, David Matemela and Mamela Nyamza trained on scholarship at The Ailey School in New York. Both of these highly talented dancers returned home with invaluable knowledge of dance techniques and style, which contributed enormously to their success on the local front.
“I know that South African audiences will be transfixed and inspired by the company’s performances in Johannesburg and Cape Town, as well as the fantastic educational outreach programs that the group is planning during their visit” stated United States Ambassador to South Africa Patrick H. Gaspard. “Receiving the Ailey company in South Africa in September will truly be a highlight of my tenure as Ambassador.”
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater has performed for an estimated 23 million people in 71 countries on 6 continents, inspiring all in a universal celebration of the human spirit using the African-American cultural experience and the American modern dance tradition. For further details on the Ailey organization’s performances, training programs and educational activities, visit www.alvinailey.org. Book now at Computicket by calling 0861 915 8000, visit www.computicket.com or your nearest Computicket service centre or discover more about the visit at www.showtime.co.za.
Bloomberg Philanthropies is the Lead Sponsor of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s 2015 South Africa Tour
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s South Africa Tour is supported by a grant from the Ford Foundation
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s travel and freight partners for the 2015 South Africa Tour are South African Airways and South African Airways Cargo.
Johannesburg Show Information
Venue: Teatro at Montecasino
Show Dates and Times:
Thursday, 3 September to Sunday, 13 September 2015
No shows on Mondays and Tuesdays
Wednesday to Friday – 8pm
Saturdays – 2:pm and 8pm
Sundays – 1:30pm and 6:30pm
Programming – Subject to Change
Thursday, 9/3 @ 8:00pm A: Polish Pieces, Takademe / Grace / Revelations Friday, 9/4 @ 8:00pm B: Night Creature, After the Rain Pas de Deux / Exodus / Revelations Saturday, 9/5 @ 2:00pm A: Polish Pieces, Takademe / Grace / Revelations Saturday, 9/5 @ 8:00pm B: Night Creature, After the Rain Pas de Deux / Exodus / Revelations Sunday, 9/6 @ 1:30pm A: Polish Pieces, Takademe / Grace / Revelations Sunday, 9/6 @ 6:30pm B: Night Creature, After the Rain Pas de Deux / Exodus / Revelations Wednesday, 9/9 @ 8:00pm A: Polish Pieces, Takademe / Grace / Revelations Thursday, 9/10 @ 8:00pm B: Night Creature, After the Rain Pas de Deux / Exodus / Revelations Friday, 9/11 @ 8:00pm A: Polish Pieces, Takademe / Grace / Revelations Saturday, 9/12 @ 2:00pm B: Night Creature, After the Rain Pas de Deux / Exodus / Revelations Saturday, 9/12 @ 8:00pm A: Polish Pieces, Takademe / Grace / Revelations Sunday, 9/13 @ 1:30pm B: Night Creature, After the Rain Pas de Deux / Exodus / Revelations Sunday, 9/13 @ 6:30pm A: Polish Pieces, Takademe / Grace / Revelations
Wednesday, Thursday, Sunday 6:30pm – R100 to R490
Fridays, Saturdays and Sunday 1:30 pm matinee – R100 to R590 per person inclusive
Computicket by calling 0861 915 8000, visit www.computicket.com or visit your nearest Computicket service centre.
20% Discount on groups of 20 and more.
Enquiries: email@example.com, 079 218 1658
Hospilitality And Show & Stay Packages
For Montecasino Group Hospitality Packages (20+ tickets) please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 011 367 4250
For Montecasino Show & Stay Packages at one of the Montecasino Hotels (available for Friday and Saturday 8pm performances)
please contact email@example.com or telephone 011 367 4250
Cape Town Show Information
Venue: Opera House, Artscape
Show Dates: Wednesday, 16 September to Sunday, 20 September 2015
Wednesday, Thursday and Friday: 8pm
Saturday, 19 September – 2pm and 8pm
Sunday 20 September 2015 – 1:30pm and 6:30pm
Programming – Subject to Change
Wednesday, 9/16 @ 8:00pm B: Night Creature, After the Rain Pas de Deux / Exodus / Revelations Thursday, 9/17 @ 8:00pm A: Polish Pieces, Takademe / Grace / Revelations Friday, 9/18 @ 8:00pm B: Night Creature, After the Rain Pas de Deux / Exodus / Revelations Saturday, 9/19 @ 2:00pm A: Polish Pieces, Takademe / Grace / Revelations Saturday, 9/19 @ 8:00pm B: Night Creature, After the Rain Pas de Deux / Exodus / Revelations Sunday, 9/20 @ 1:30pm A: Polish Pieces, Takademe / Grace / Revelations Sunday, 9/20 @ 6:30pm B: Night Creature, After the Rain Pas de Deux / Exodus / Revelations
Wednesday, Thursday, Sunday 6:30pm – R100 to R 375
Friday, Saturday and Sunday matinee – R100 to R475 per person inclusive
Computicket by calling 0861 915 8000, visit www.computicket.com or visit your nearest
Computicket service centre.
20% Discount on groups of 20 and more
Enquiries: firstname.lastname@example.org, 079 218 1658
± 2 Hours. Alternates at each performance
Programme A: Polish Pieces/Takademe/Grace/Revelations
Programme B: Night Creature/After the Rain Pas de Deux/Exodus/Revelations
Exodus (World Premiere)
Choreography by Rennie Harris
Acclaimed hip hop choreographer Rennie (Lorenzo) Harris is creating a highly-anticipated world premiere that explores the idea of “exodus” – from one’s ignorance and conformity – as a necessary step toward enlightenment. Set to gospel and house music along with poetic narration, the work underscores the crucial role of action and movement in effecting change. Exemplifying his view of hip hop as a “celebration of life” Exodus marks Harris’ latest invitation to return to spiritual basics and affirm who we are. Mr. Harris’ previous contributions to the Ailey repertory include Home (2011) and Love Stories (2004), the latter of which was a collaboration with Judith Jamison and Robert Battle. Known to mix hip hop with Shakespeare, poetry, and gospel music, Harris has been credited with introducing the African-American dance form to a worldwide audience and revolutionizing contemporary concert dance.
After the Rain Pas de Deux (2005)
Choreography by Christopher Wheeldon
Music: Arvo Pärt
An instant hit at New York City Ballet in 2005, Christopher Wheeldon’s dreamlike duet – praised for its sublime simplicity and intricate partnering – is revealed in a fresh light as the Ailey dancers make it their own. Set to music by the Estonian composer Arvo Pärt, the sensual male-female pas de deux has resonated deeply with audiences and will be the first work by Christopher Wheeldon to enter the Ailey repertory. Dance Magazine described After the Rain as “an intelligently, masterfully choreographed ballet that strikes an emotional chord. The still point at the heart of the work lingers long after the curtain has descended.”
Polish Pieces (1995)
Choreography by Hans van Manen
Music: Henryk Mikolaj Górecki
In Polish Pieces, Dutch choreographer van Manen displays his mastery for building dazzling creations from simple motifs and geometric patterns. Driven by the rhythms of Henryk Górecki’s score, the 12 dancers in this colorful ensemble work create a brilliant kaleidoscope through endlessly shifting formations that contrasts with two sensual pas de deux. Hans van Manen began his ballet career in 1951 as a member of Sonia Gaskell’s Ballet Recital. He created his first ballet for the Nederlandse Opera Ballet in 1957 and created over 50 ballets for the Nederlands Dans Theater, where he was also the artistic director and a dancer. He has created over 120 ballets and his works have been staged by companies all over the world including the Stuttgart Ballet, Berlin Opera, the National Ballet of Canada, Pennsylvania Ballet, the Royal Ballet, the Royal Danish Ballet and the State Opera in Vienna. In 1992, the year of his 35th anniversary as a choreographer, he was given a Knighthood in the Order of Orange Nassau by the Queen of The Netherlands. He has been honored for his work many times, including the prestigious German Dance Prize for his influence on German dance, the much-heralded Erasmus Prize for his outstanding achievements in Dutch dance, and the Benois de la Danse for Lifetime Achievement. At the occasion of his 75th birthday at the gala premiere of the Hans van Manen festival, Amsterdam’s mayor honored him with the Commandeur in de Orde van de Nederlandse Leeuw.
Repertory Favorites & Classics
Choreography by Ronald K. Brown
Music: Duke Ellington, Roy Davis Jr., Paul Johnson & Fela Anikulapo Kuti
This landmark creation for Ailey returned to the Ailey repertory in a rapturous, spiritually-charged new production for the 2012-13 season. Infused with Brown’s signature blend of modern dance and West African idioms, this moving journey acknowledging the grace that surrounds us all is set to Duke Ellington’s classic “Come Sunday,” Roy Davis’ hit “Gabriel,” and the powerful rhythms of Fela Kuti’s Afro-Pop.
Night Creature (1975)
Choreography by Alvin Ailey
Music: Duke Ellington
A bubbly champagne cocktail of a dance that perfectly fuses Alvin Ailey’s buoyant choreography and Duke Ellington’s sparkling music in a definitive homage to The Duke’s jazz that remains one of Mr. Ailey’s most popular works. Ellington said “night creatures, unlike stars, do not come OUT at night– they come ON, each thinking that, before the night is out, he or she will be the star.” The large ensemble work is full of stars – strutting, leaping and slinking using modern dance, classical ballet and jazz.
Choreography by Robert Battle
Music: Sheila Chandra
The complex, tightly woven rhythms of Indian Kathak dance are deconstructed and abstracted in this percussive, fast-paced work, where clear shapes and propulsive jumps mimic the vocalized rhythmic syllables of Sheila Chandra’s jazzy score.
Choreography by Alvin Ailey
Music: Traditional Spirituals
More than just a popular dance work, Revelations has become a cultural treasure, beloved by generations of fans. An American classic acclaimed as a must‐see for all, Alvin Ailey’s signature masterpiece is a tribute to his heritage and genius. Using African-American spirituals, the work fervently explores the places of deepest grief and holiest joy in the soul. Seeing Revelations for the first time or the hundredth can be a transcendent experience, with audiences cheering, singing along and dancing in their seats from the opening notes of the plaintive “I Been ’Buked” to the rousing “Wade in the Water” and the triumphant finale, “Rocka My Soul in the Bosom of Abraham.”
About Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, recognized by U.S. Congressional resolution as a vital American “Cultural Ambassador to the World” grew from a now‐fabled March 1958 performance in New York that changed forever the perception of American dance. Founded by Alvin Ailey, recent posthumous recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom – the nation’s highest civilian honor, and guided by Judith Jamison beginning in 1989, the Company is now led by Robert Battle, whom Judith Jamison chose to succeed her on July 1, 2011. Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater has performed for an estimated 23 million people in 71 countries on 6 continents, promoting the uniqueness of the African‐American cultural experience and the preservation and enrichment of the American modern dance tradition. In addition to being the Principal Dance Company of New York City Center, where its performances have become a year‐end tradition, the Ailey company performs annually at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC, the Auditorium Theatre in Chicago, the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami‐Dade County in Miami, The Fox Theatre in Atlanta, Zellerbach Hall in Berkeley, CA and at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark where it is the Principal Resident Affiliate), and appears frequently in other major theaters throughout the United States and the world during extensive yearly tours. The Ailey organization also includes Ailey II (1974), a second performing company of emerging young dancers and innovative choreographers; The Ailey School (1969), one of the most extensive dance training programs in the world; Ailey Arts in Education & Community Programs, which brings dance into the classrooms, communities and lives of people of all ages; and The Ailey Extension (2005), a program offering dance and fitness classes to the general public, which began with the opening of Ailey’s permanent home — the largest building dedicated to dance in New York City, the dance capital of the world — named The Joan Weill Center for Dance, at 55th Street at 9th Avenue in New York City. For more information, visit www.alvinailey.org.
About Bloomberg Philanthropies
Bloomberg Philanthropies’ mission is to ensure better, longer lives for the greatest number of people. The organization focuses on five key areas for creating lasting change: Public Health, Environment, Education, Government Innovation and the Arts. Bloomberg Philanthropies encompasses all of Michael R. Bloomberg’s charitable activities, including his foundation and his personal giving. In 2014, Bloomberg Philanthropies distributed $462 million. For more information on the philanthropy, please visit bloomberg.org or follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @BloombergDotOrg.
About Showtime Management (SA)
Originally founded by Hazel Feldman and now with her son and partner, Tony – Showtime Management has set the benchmark for the presentation of quality, international-standard shows and events, many of which have been presented throughout South Africa, Asia, Europe and Las Vegas. Concert productions include: The Rolling Stones; Frank Sinatra; Elton John; Rod Stewart; Pavarotti; Seal; Diana Ross; Liza Minnelli; The 3 Tenors; Black Eyed Peas; Deadmau5; 50 Cent; George Benson; Swedish House Mafia, the FIFA 2010 Kick-off Concert with John Legend; Shakira and a host of international and local artistes; Tap Dogs; Hardwell; the Electric 2014 NYE Ball featuring the legendary Carl Cox, Eminem’s Rapture SA Tour, Ultra 2014, Cirque Eloize and Disney on Ice 100 Years of Magic. This year’s line-up features Ultra 2015, Jason Mraz, and Disney On Ice Let’s Celebrate. Musical Theatre productions include FAME; CHICAGO; WE WILL ROCK YOU, BEAUTY & THE BEAST; HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL; RENT; MAMMA MIA!; DREAMGIRLS; MENOPAUSE THE MUSICAL; BEAUTIFUL CREATURES; DIRTY DANCING and JERSEY BOYS South Africa, Asia and Turkey. More information available at www.showtime.co.za.