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Dorothy Chandler Pavilion
135 N. Grand Avenue Los Angeles, CA 90012
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Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
13 ratings
4.6 average rating
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Quotes & Highlights

“Frenetic and electrifying…filled with fabulously high-octane stamina by the Ailey dancers.” New York Times
“‘Revelations’…is an icon, but it also is very much a living, breathing work of art, thanks to the fervent and openhearted way the remarkable Ailey dancers perform it.” Washington Times
“One of the promises of my company is that its repertoire will include pieces that ordinary people can understand.” Alvin Ailey


Celebrating its 45th anniversary this season, the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater has earned a reputation worldwide as one of the most acclaimed ambassadors of American culture. Marvel at the physical and dramatic forces these dancers bring to the stage and rejoice in the passion and artistry of the Ailey company.

Program A
  • Heart Song


    Choreography by Alonzo King

    Music composed and performed by Bouchaib Abdelhadi, Yassir Chadly, Hafida Ghanim

  • Treading


    Choreography by Elisa Monte

    Music by Stephen Reich “Eighteen Musicians”

  • Juba


    Choreography by Robert Battle

    Original score composed by John Mackey

  • Revelations


    Choreography by Alvin Ailey

    Music: Traditional

Program B
  • Rainbow Round My Shoulders


    Choreography by Donald McKayle

    Music: Traditional

  • Hymn


    Choreographed and Directed by Judith Jamison

    Text Conceived, Written and Performed by Anna Deavere Smith

  • Revelations


    Choreography by Alvin Ailey

    Music: Traditional

Program C
  • Ailey Classics

    (to be announced)

  • Revelations


    Choreography by Alvin Ailey

    Music: Traditional


The edgy and ritualistic “Juba” explores the question of where ritual and folk tradition exist in today’s society, as four dancers engage in a modern day rite of spring with an abstract twist. Choreographer Robert Battle explains, “The Juba is an actual dance that was done by slaves as a sort of revolt, an exhibition dance.” In his own work, Battle strives to “reach this kind of spirituality that makes people leap out of their seats, what you see in a lot of places, from black churches to nightclubs—dancing until you’re almost in a trance.”

Heart Song

“Heart Song,” set to the sounds of original Moroccan music and vocals, explores the individual as opposed to the group, how an idea informs the steps and gestures of a dance, and how powerful music can help shape the experience of a dance. Choreographer Alonzo King says, “There’s the romantic idea that the uniqueness of what I feel in my experience is so powerful that you will relate to it. And then there is the opposite, classical tradition that says my feelings don’t matter, that the community and order and form are much more important.”


When the sculptural, mesmerizing duet “Treading” had its premiere in 1982, the New York Times said, “‘Treading’ gives lovers of fine dancing much to marvel at.” In this new production, the man and woman come together in fluid intricate movements that combine with the evocative music to create an aura of mystery and sensuality. “For me it’s like looking at people before we were fully formed,” explains the choreographer. “The inspiration for me was to strip away people’s sexuality and look at the sensual impulses of people from a very essential, pure place.”

Rainbow Round My Shoulder

After hearing singer Leon Bibb’s recording of “Rocks and Gravel,” Donald McKayle was inspired to create “Rainbow Round My Shoulder.” The piece is composed of eight dancers—seven men and one woman—who depict the life of men on a prison chain gang. Their memories of happiness, love and freedom sustain them as the woman in the ballet, a dream figure representing sweetheart, mother and wife, embodies these memories. The movement has been described as athletic yet lyrical, with a story that is both potent and profound.


“Hymn” is a tribute to Alvin Ailey originally choreographed in 1993. The New York Post declared this reverent homage “an absolutely astonishing work.” In episodes ranging from quiet solos to explosive full company dances, Ailey’s genius and humanity are lovingly revealed. This season, a new generation of dancers will interpret “Hymn,” bringing their own experiences and their own spirit to this celebration of the man and the legacy.


Alvin Ailey was only 29 years old when he created his most significant masterpiece, “Revelations,” in 1960. Ailey’s inspiration for creating “Revelations” came from his memories of attending Baptist services in Texas as a child. Over the last 40 years, more people around the world have seen this modern dance classic than any other work. Ailey said, “‘Revelations’ began with the music. As early as I can remember I was enthralled by the music played and sung in the small black churches in every small Texas town my mother and I lived in. No matter where we were during those nomadic years, Sunday was always a church-going day. There we would absorb some of the most glorious singing to be heard anywhere in the world. They sang and played the music with such fervor that even as a small child I could not only hear it but almost see it.”