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 25 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

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater Announces Programming For New York City Center Season December 1-19, 2021

NEW YORK – UPDATED October 19, 2021— Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, New York City Center’s Principal Dance Company and America’s beloved cultural ambassador to the world, returns to the stage for a much-anticipated annual season in their “home” theater December 1–19, 2021. Marking a decade of leading the Company forward, Artistic Director Robert Battle will present Ailey’s renowned artists in a diverse repertory of premieres, new productions and Ailey classics. The repertory features two world premieres adapted from video to stage by Robert Battle and Ailey Resident Choreographer Jamar Roberts as well as four new productions.

Ailey Extension Celebrates National Dance Day On September 18 By Reopening Studios For Public To Enjoy Weekend Hybrid And In-Studio Only Classes For First Time Since March 2020

New York, NY – September 2, 2021 – Ailey Extension will celebrate National Dance Day by welcoming New York City area dancers back to the studios to experience the vibrant energy of its “real classes for real people” in person starting Saturday, September 18. For the first time since March 2020, New Yorkers of all experience levels and backgrounds are invited to join in the dance at the Joan Weill Center for Dance – NYC’s largest building dedicated to dance – with their favorite instructors, inspiring guest artists and esteemed musicians. An updated schedule of classes allows fully vaccinated New Yorkers ages 12+ to gather in small groups on Saturdays and Sundays. Virtual class options remain available seven days a week for those 16+ who cannot join in-studio and for children ages 5-11 under the Kids & Teens Sunday Dance Series.

Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation Names Francesca Harper As Artistic Director Of The Ailey II Company

New York – September 1, 2021 – Robert Battle, Artistic Director of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, announced today that internationally renowned performer, choreographer, director, and multi-disciplinary artist Francesca Harper has been appointed Artistic Director of Ailey II, the Ailey organization’s acclaimed company of young dancers. Ms. Harper will assume her duties on September 7, 2021, and will immediately begin preparing for Ailey II’s return to the stage. Ailey II’s 2021-2022 season will kick off in December with participation in Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s annual season at New York City Center, in which Ailey II will perform in Mr. Ailey’s classic Memoria, and will continue with the company’s own 2022 New York City season March 23-April 3 at The Ailey Citigroup Theater, as well as a U.S. tour.

Featured Press Coverage

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New York Amsterdam News - Francesca Harper Named Artistic Director Of Ailey II

Ask Francesca Harper how she felt when Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater Artistic Director Robert Battle announced her appointment as artistic director of Ailey II, that internationally renowned AAADT’s acclaimed troupe of young talented dancers and she gushes with excitement declaring, “It’s kind of surreal.” Yet, in many ways the appointment seems a natural step in a rather remarkable career, as well as a promising beginning of a critically acclaimed dance company’s next chapter, and last but not least, as a perfect example of the circle of life.

Viewing NYC - The Freedom To Be: Alvin Ailey Dancers

In our third episode of The Freedom to Be video series, timed to coincide with #NationalDanceDay today (Sept. 18), we spotlight the Black dance community in NYC. Choreographer and dancer Alvin Ailey founded his namesake company in 1958 to bring African American dance to all corners of the US—and, eventually, the world. The dance theater, which forged a space for Black creatives in times and places where it often didn’t exist, is now a fixture of New York City culture. Meet two dancers from the troupe, Yannick Lebrun and Caroline Dartey, who emigrated from French Guiana and Switzerland, respectively, to pursue their dreams. Lebrun has been with the company for almost 15 years, while Dartey is just starting her journey. Both enjoy the sense of community and freedom of expression they’ve found at Alvin Ailey.

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The New York Times - Now They Can Focus On Choreography

When star dancers retire, it's always a little sad. And if those dancers are still in their prime, fans can feel an especially acute sense of loss. The performances that won't happen are easy to imagine. But in the uncommon case when the dancer has already achieved distinction as a choreographer and is retiring to focus on that craft, the loss is offset by potential gain. The dancer will be absent from the stage, but the dancer's spirit and sensibility might spread across it... On Dec. 9, Jamar Roberts is giving his farewell performance with Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.