TORONTO, Ontario (February 1, 2023) – TO Live, one of Canada’s largest multi-arts organizations, recently announced that the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, beloved as one of the world’s most popular dance companies, is returning to Toronto’s Meridian Hall February 3 to 4 — its first stop on a 22-city North American tour.
Led by Artistic Director, Robert Battle, the tour encompasses three exciting performances, featuring new works and repertory favorites that showcase the passionate spirit and extraordinary technique of Ailey’s dancers, including Toronto native, Hannah Alissa Richardson, during her inaugural season with the company.
The program — for Friday, February 3 at 8 pm and Saturday, February 4 at 2 pm — features Alvin Ailey’s Night Creature (1975), a bubbly champagne cocktail of a dance that is a perfect fusion of Ailey’s buoyant choreography and Duke Ellington’s sparkling music; Reflections in D (1963) a strong, yet serene, solo Ailey created for himself; Robert Battle’s For Four, featuring four amazing Ailey dancers dancing to Wynton Marsalis’ delicious jazz score; followed by Battle’s Unfold (2007) a sensuous, swirling duet.
Saturday’s evening show, at 8 pm, features a new production of Ailey and Mary Barnett’s Survivors (1986/New production 2022), an impassioned tribute to the profound courage and terrible anguish of Nelson and Winnie Mandela; and the Canadian premiere of Kyle Abraham’s Are You in Your Feelings? celebrating Black culture, Black music, and the youthful spirit that perseveres in us all. Scored to a “mixtape” of soul, hip hop, and R&B, the work explores the connections among music, communication, and personal memory.
At every performance, the inspiring finale will be Alvin Ailey’s must-see American masterpiece, Revelations, acclaimed around the world for sending hearts soaring and lifting audiences to their feet.
Since its debut in 1960, Revelations has been seen by more people around the world than any other modern dance work, moving audiences with its powerful storytelling and soul-stirring music, evoking timeless themes of determination, hope, and transcendence.
Springing from Ailey’s childhood memories of growing up in the south and attending services at Mount Olive Baptist Church in Texas, Revelations pays homage to the rich cultural heritage of the African American and explores the emotional spectrum of the human condition.
The 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 25 million people in 71 countries on six continents—as well as millions more through television broadcasts, film screenings, and online platforms—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 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.
The Company also appears frequently in other major theatres throughout the United States and the world during extensive yearly tours. The Ailey organization 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 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.
TO Live operates three iconic venues: Meridian Hall, St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts, and Meridian Arts Centre. In addition, TO Live presents a full range of performing arts, theatrical, and concert events at these venues in both downtown and uptown Toronto.
With these two hubs of creativity and content creation, TO Live has a unique place and perspective to activate creative spaces by inspiring local and international artists, connecting audiences, stimulating new ideas, and elevating artistic potential, becoming a catalyst for creative expression that is reflective of Toronto’s diversity.
Tickets, starting at $45.00, are available at www.tolive.com; by phone at 416-366-7723 and 1-800-708-6754; or by email at email@example.com.