About Ailey

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, recognized by U.S. Congressional resolution as a vital American “Cultural Ambassador to the World,” has performed for over 23 million people in 48 states and in 71 countries on 6 continents, celebrating the African-American cultural experience and the American modern dance tradition. Ailey’s permanent home is The Joan Weill Center for Dance, the largest building dedicated to dance in New York City,  the dance capital of the world.

The Ailey Organization includes: Ailey II (a second performing company of young dancers and emerging choreographers), The Ailey School (one of the world's most extensive dance training programs), Ailey Arts in Education & Community Programs (which bring dance into classrooms and communities), and Ailey Extension (offering dance and fitness classes to the public). 

Featured News Releases

Ailey Icons Host Exclusive Workshops And Panels In Celebration Of 60th Anniversary

(New York) December 6, 2018 – In celebration of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s 60th Anniversary, Ailey Extension invites people to experience the life, legacy, and artistry of Alvin Ailey through intimate panels and workshops led by his illustrious former dancers. Sylvia Waters will moderate the Growing Up with Alvin Ailey Legacy Panel on December 10, featuring former Ailey stars Sarita Allen, Elizabeth Roxas-Dobrish, and Desmond Richardson as they share personal stories, individual experiences, and life lessons learned during their tenure dancing for the legendary founder. On January 5, what would have been Alvin Ailey’s 88th birthday, Artistic Director Emerita Judith Jamison leads an exclusive Celebrating Alvin Ailey Workshop to share cherished memories of Mr. Ailey and teach some of his most well-known choreography.

HBO Partners With Ailey To Celebrate Its 60th Anniversary

December 4, 2018 (NEW YORK CITY) – HBO salutes Ailey at 60 with a social media video series to launch during Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s 60th Anniversary New York City Center season November 28 – December 30. This tribute video series will introduce new audiences to the Ailey legacy through moving commentary from music, film, and TV stars – Jussie Smollett, Vanessa Williams, Jillian Hervey, and Black Thought – who share how Ailey has inspired their artistry, impacted American culture, and continues to reach people of all ages backgrounds around the globe.

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater Announces Programming For Miami's Adrienne Arsht Center Engagement Celebrating 60 Years of "Ailey Ascending" From February 14-17, 2019 As Part Of 21-City Tour

NEW YORK – December 3, 2018 — Led by Liberty City native and Artistic Director Robert Battle, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, one of the world’s favorite dance companies, returns to the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County February 14-17, as part of a 21-city U.S. Tour honoring 60 years of Ailey Ascending. Miami native Jamar Roberts, along with 32 of Ailey’s extraordinary dancers, will reveal the power, passion and astonishing beauty that have become a hallmark of the company. Ailey’s Miami engagement is co-presented by the Adrienne Arsht Center as part of the Center’s Knight Masterworks Season - Dance Series, which is offered with support from Knight Foundation.

Featured Press Coverage


VICE News - How Alvin Ailey Dance Theater is Making Modern Dance "Pop" Again

Modern dance is waning in popularity, and young people don't seem to feel as connected with the work anymore. So what's a 60-year-old ballet company like Alvin Ailey to do to seem limber again? The Nae Nae, for one. The truly modern dance is part of a two-act ballet called "Lazarus," which the company hopes will break through to a new generation of fans. Choreographed by Rennie Harris, "Lazarus," is peppered with references to some of the most popular dances of the last decade, including the Nae Nae, Dougie, Milly Rock and, of course, the Dab.


New York Times - A Dance Homage To Alvin Ailey As His Company Turns 60

As a master choreographer, Rennie Harris knows a thing or two about himself. He doesn't gravitate toward making works about a particular topic. And he doesn't plan his dances in advance. "The movement tells you what the piece is going to be," said Mr. Harris, a Philadelphia native who has deftly brought hip-hop and street dance to the concert stage.


New York 1 News - Spotlight NY: Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater

Ruschell Boone looks at the history of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater with current and former artistic directors Robert Battle and Judith Jamison. They also discuss the 60th season, which is having performances at New York City Center through December 30th.