Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater to perform at IU Auditorium, engage with IU students

Sunday, February 23, 2014

WHAT: Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
WHEN: 8 p.m. Wednesday, March 12
WHERE: IU Auditorium, 1211 E. Seventh St.
TICKETS: $23 to $49 for IU Bloomington students with a valid ID and $44 to $59 for general public, on sale now. Individual tickets may be purchased online at IUauditorium.com, in person at the IU Auditorium Box Office, as well as through Ticketmaster.com, all Ticketmaster outlets or charge by phone at 800-745-3000. The IU Auditorium Box Office is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.


Renowned modern dance ensemble Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater will perform at IU Auditorium at 8 p.m. Wednesday, March 12.

Earlier that day, the company's dancers will conduct a masterclass for students of IU Ballet, IU Contemporary Dance and the African American Dance Ensemble. In addition, those dance students as well as students from various IU-affiliated organizations -- including IU Residential Programs and Services, and First Year Experience -- will attend a free pre-show discussion led by company rehearsal director Matthew Rushing.

The ensemble was born from a 1958 performance, when Ailey and a group of young African American modern dancers became the first professional company to fully embrace cultural diversity by welcoming dancers of all races and backgrounds. Now considered one of the foremost modern dance companies in the world, the Ailey company has performed for an estimated 23 million people in 48 states and 71 countries on six continents, as well as millions more through television broadcasts.

Led by choreographer Robert Battle since July 2011, with influence by emeritus director Judith Jamison, the company continues its legacy of highlighting the multicultural nature of the American experience. Celebrated for his efforts to broaden Ailey’s repertory, Battle has a distinguished history as a dancer, artistic director and choreographer, having performed with the Parsons Dance Company, founded the Battleworks Dance Company and choreographed seven works of his own.

In addition to other pieces, the company will perform Ailey’s own work, "Revelations," which has been hailed as “the most beloved modern dance creation by anyone anywhere” by the Los Angeles Times. The work’s style and themes are firmly rooted in African American culture through use of spirituals, song sermons, gospel songs and holy blues.

Since its debut in 1960, "Revelations" has moved audiences around the world through its powerful storytelling and soul-stirring music, evoking timeless themes of determination, hope and transcendence. According to the company, the piece embodies Ailey’s own summary of African American heritage as a whole -- "sometimes sorrowful, sometimes jubilant, but always hopeful." Favorite moments in the piece include songs such as "I Been 'Buked," "Wade in the Water" and the finale, "Rocka My Soul in the Bosom of Abraham."

“We are incredibly honored to welcome Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater to IU Auditorium,” IU Auditorium director Doug Booher said. “Ailey’s legendary company has thrilled audiences all over the world with its soulful, uniquely American style. It will be wonderful to share their amazing talent with the IU students and Bloomington community. This is a rare opportunity that should not be missed!”

For more information about Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and the rest of the 2013-14 season, visit IUauditorium.com. The website features video clips and a selection of songs from this season's performances, in addition to a direct link to the IU Auditorium Facebook and Twitter pages, whose followers receive exclusive benefits throughout the year.

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater at IU Auditorium is sponsored by Finch’s Brasserie and IU Bookstore. IU Auditorium’s 2013-14 season is sponsored by Curry Auto Center, B97, The Herald-Times and IU Residential Programs and Services.