Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater launched its New York season on December 2nd with an Opening Night Gala Benefit celebrating Judith Jamison's 20th year as Artistic Director.
Ailey's season celebrating Judith Jamison's 20th year as artistic director, kicked off last night with an Opening Night Benefit Gala. Board Chair Joan Weill noted that this year's gala was particularly special because the Board of Trustees underwrote all expenses so that all funds raised go directly to Ailey's programs for children and young people, including AileyCamps and scholarships to The Ailey School.
The Company performed Judith Jamison's Here…Now to live, on-stage accompaniment by the legendary Wynton Marsalis and his Jazz septet. As a surprise to the audience and Jamison, Ailey stars Clifton Brown and Jamar Roberts performed ANEW, a moving tribute to Jamison, by Robert Battle made for the occasion.
After the inspiring finale performance of Revelations, with live music conducted by Ray Chew, the celebration continued at the gala party in the Hilton New York's Grand Ballroom. 1,000 guests, including Ivanka Trump, Pauletta Washington, Nick Ashford & Valerie Simpson, Rev. Jesse Jackson, Soledad O'Brien, Andre Leon Talley and India.Arie joined in dinner and dancing with the stars of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, who were outfitted by Badgley Mischka and Sean John in elegant evening wear.
Ailey's New York performances, which have become a joyous holiday tradition, continue through January 3, 2010. This season features the renowned dancers of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in over 40 ballets by 20 choreographers, including World Premieres, New Productions, and Special Anniversary Programs.
Judith Jamison, Wynton Marsalis, Joan Weill & Pauletta Washington
The cast of Judith Jamison's Divining
Amos J. Machanic Jr.