Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater Comes to Chicago's Auditorium Theatre.

Chicago, Thursday, April 7, 2011. Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater has just announced their Chicago dates for May which will include six performances and two student matinees from May 18 through May 22. (See complete schedule at the bottom of this post).  Known as an American cultural ambassador to the world, Ailey will present six Chicago premieres along with “Revelations” and “Night Creature”– two of their signature masterpieces.

Here is a look at the Chicago programs.
1.  Three Black Kings. (1976).

AAADT’s Glenn Allen Sims, Jamar Roberts and Clifton Brown in Alvin Aileys Three Black Kings. Photo by Paul Kolnik.

A Chicago premiere, Alvin Ailey’s three-part ballet, set to Duke Ellington’s last major score, brings to life Balthazar, the Black King of the Nativity; Solomon, King of Israel; and Martin Luther King Jr., a personal friend of Ellington, whose triumphs are celebrated in the inspiring finale. 

2. Judith Jamison’s “Forgotten Time.” (1989)

AlvinAiley2forgotten time.jpg

AAADT’s Clifton Brown and Linda Celeste Sims in Judith Jamison’s Forgotten Time. Photo by Paul Kolnik.

A Chicago Premiere.  Judith Jamison’s quietly uplifting work, the haunting, otherworldly sounds of Le Mystere des Voix Bulgares channels 12 dancers on a journey through ancient rituals and tribal rites of passage.

3. Robert Battle’s “The Hunt.” (2001)


AAADT in Robert Battle’s The Hunt. Photo by Paul Kolnik.

A Chicago Premiere. Battle’s athletic work for six men, reveals the predatory side of human nature and the primitive thrill of the hunt. A thundering percussion soundtrack by Les Tambours du Bronx drives the work’s explosive movement, running the gamut from modern sports to the rituals of gladiators.  The New York Times described “The Hunt” as showcasing the “virtuosic, athletic energies of the Ailey men as well as an appropriate acknowledgment of Battle’s new presence.

4. Camille A. Brown’s “The Evolution Of A Secured Feminine.” (2007)

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A Chicago Premiere. The female soloist in Camille A. Brown’s witty portrayal veers between uncertainty and carefree confidence to the music of Ella Fitzgerald, Betty Carter and Nancy Wilson.

5. Alvin Ailey’s “Night Creature.” (1974)


AAADT’s Amos J. Machanic Jr., Renee Robinson, and Matthew Rushing in Alvin Ailey’s Night Creature. Photo by Andrew Eccles.

Ailey pays homage to the exuberance of Duke Ellington’s jazz.  One of Ailey’s most classically choreographed ballets, it depicts a series of sexy nocturnal rituals that propel the movement toward a fast-paced, cathartic climax.

6. The 50th Anniversary of “Revelations.”


Please Credit Photo: AAADT’s Renee Robinson in Alvin Ailey’s Revelations. Photo by Paul Kolnik.

Alvin Ailey’s iconic signature masterpiece, “Revelations,” will be performed on all programs of this engagement, as a tribute to the African-American heritage and to Ailey’s genius.  Using African-American spirituals, this suite explores the places of deepest grief and the holiest joys in the soul.

7. Robert Battle’s “In/Side.” (2008)


AAADT’s Samuel Lee Roberts in Robert Battle’s In/Side. Photo by Paul Kolnik.

A Chicago Premiere. In “In/Side,” the vivid emotions of Nina Simone’s “Wild is the Wind” to play out in a gripping male solo.  Battle’s bold, unrestrained signature style is evinced in this visceral cry of pure physicality.

8. “Anointed.” (2010)


AAADT’s Linda Celeste Sims and Jamar Roberts in Christopher L. Huggins’ Anointed. Photo by Paul Kolnik.

A Chicago Premiere. Former Ailey company member Christopher L. Huggins makes his first contribution to the company’s repertory with a new creation using music by Moby and Sean Clement.  “Anointed” pays homage to Ailey’s present, past and future, loosely chronicling Jamison’s introduction to the company, the passing of leadership from Alvin Ailey to Jamison, and her, in turn, passing the torch to Battle.

The Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University, located at 50 E. Congress Parkway, Single tickets are now on sale and range in price from $30 to $87.  They can be purchased by calling Ticketmaster at (800) 982-2787, by visiting or in person at the Auditorium Theatre Box Office, 50 East Congress Parkway. * The Ailey student matinee performances are available to elementary through high school student groups of 10 or more people.  Group tickets are $12 and available by calling (312) 431-2357.

Performance schedule.
Wed., May 18 at 7:30 p.m.: Anointed*, The Evolution of a Secured Feminine*, The Hunt*, (Film*), Revelations.
Thurs., May 19 at 7:30 p.m.: Night Creature, In/Side*, Forgotten Time*, (Film*), Revelations.
Fri., May 20 at 7:30 p.m.: Night Creature, In/Side*, Forgotten Time*, (Film*), Revelations.
Sat., May 21 at 2 p.m.: Anointed*, The Evolution of a Secured Feminine The Hunt*, (Film*), Revelations.
Sat., May 21 at 8 p.m.: Three Black Kings*, Suite Otis, In/Side*, (Film*), Revelations
Sun., May 22 at 3 p.m.: Anointed*, The Evolution of a Secured Feminine The Hunt*, (Film*), Revelations.

Sat., May 21 at 8 p.m.: Three Black Kings, Suite Otis, In/Side, (Film), Revelations.
Sun., May 22 at 3 p.m.: Anointed
, The Evolution of a Secured Feminine” The Hunt, (Film), Revelations.

There will also be student matinee performances on Thursday, May 19 and Friday, May 20 at 11 a.m.

Chicago Alvin Ailey Circle Celebration.
The Chicago Alvin Ailey Circle Celebration will be held on opening night Wednesday, May 18 at The Chicago Club (81 E. Van Buren Street). Tickets are $250 and include a pre-performance reception as well as a meet and greet with outgoing Artistic Director, Judith Jamison and incoming Artistic Director Designate, Robert Battle and a ticket to the opening night performance.For tickets to the Chicago Alvin Ailey Circle Celebration, call (312) 922-2110 ext. 368.

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