Revelations

Since its creation in 1960, Revelations has consistently enraptured audiences all over the world with its perfect blend of reverent grace and spiritual elation. Alvin Ailey’s signature masterpiece pays homage to and reflects the cultural heritage of the African-American, which Ailey considered one of America’s richest treasures – “sometimes sorrowful, sometimes jubilant, but always hopeful.” Choreographed when he was only 29 years old, Revelations is an intimate reflection inspired by childhood memories of attending services at Mount Olive Baptist Church in Texas, and by the work of writers James Baldwin and Langston Hughes. Set to a suite of traditional spirituals, Revelations explores the emotional spectrum of the human condition, from the deepest of grief to the holiest joy. A classic tribute to the resolve and determination of a people, the ballet has been seen by more people around the world than any other modern work. 

Of its creation, Ailey once recalled: “I did it chronologically, leading off with the opening part of Revelations, which was...about trying to get up out of the ground. The costumes and the set would be colored brown, an earth color, for coming out of the earth, for going into the earth. The second part was something that was very close to me the baptismal, the purification rite. Its colors would be white and pale blue. Then there would be the section surrounding the gospel church, the holy rollers and all the church happiness. Its colors would be earth tones, yellow and black.” 

Featured News Releases

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s 2017 International Tour Brings Uplifting Artistry To Paris, Basel, Copenhagen & Five German Cities July 4 – September 10

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, recognized by U.S. Congress as “a vital American cultural ambassador to the world,” returns to Paris, Basel, five German cities, and Copenhagen to perform 15 ballets from July 4 – September 10. The Paris engagement (July 4 – 22) kicks off the tour, and marks the debut dance performance at La Seine Musicale, a new state of the art concert hall on an island in the Seine River, which opened in April 2017.

The Ailey Spirit Gala Benefit Supports Scholarships and Arts In Education Programs - Thursday, June 15th at 7pm

The centerpiece of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s Lincoln Center engagement is The Ailey Spirit Gala on Thursday, June 15th. This one-night-only benefit performance and party honors Ailey Board Vice Chairman Stephen Meringoff for his longtime support of Ailey, and his instrumental role in strengthening and sustaining AileyCamp. Critically-acclaimed actor André Holland, who most recently appeared in the eight-time Oscar-nominated film Moonlight, has just been announced as Honorary Chair.

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater Artistic Director Robert Battle Announces Programming For Lincoln Center Engagement June 14 - 18

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, beloved as one of the world’s most popular dance companies, will return to Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts for a seven-performance engagement at the David H. Koch Theater June 14 – 18, 2017. Today, Artistic Director Robert Battle announced repertory for the season, which features the work of seven choreographers and recent premieres on three exciting programs, along with the Company debut of Battle’s 2004 work Mass, set to an original score by John Mackey performed with live music.

Featured Press Coverage

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Dance Magazine - The Magic of Revelations

In 1960, America was in the midst of a social transformation. The Supreme Court had ruled "separate but equal" unconstitutional six years prior, but the country's response was slow and turbulent as desegregation incited violent responses. Surrounded by powerful civil rights momentum, a 29-year-old Alvin Ailey created an ode to the resilience of the human spirit: Revelations.

Financial Times - Alvin Ailey Brings Its Perfectly Calibrated Dance To Paris

Paris isn’t lacking for new music venues. After the Philharmonie, another major construction project was completed in April: La Seine Musicale, in the south-western suburb of Boulogne. Designed by Shigeru Ban and Jean de Gastines, it occupies a third of the tiny Seguin Island on the Seine, hugging its shoreline; the flagship auditorium sits on one end like an oversized Fabergé egg, with rotating solar panels curving over it.

Playbill - Step From The Stage To The Studio

A professional dancer's body is a finely tuned instrument of movement and expression. And there are no more impeccably calibrated, eloquent "instruments" than those who make up the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.