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

Portrait Of Ailey, A New Eight-Part Documentary Series Available For Free On PBS LearningMedia

NEW YORK – February 29, 2024 – The compelling story of the life, work, and legacy of dancer and choreographer Alvin Ailey, founder of the renowned Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, is the subject of Portrait of Ailey, a new eight-part documentary series premiering in February 2024, during Black History Month, and rolling out through September on PBS LearningMedia, a free website with thousands of classroom-ready resources for preK-12 teachers. The series was created by Sylvia Waters, director emerita of the Ailey II company, with archivist Dominique Singer and adapted for use on PBS LearningMedia by The WNET Group’s Kids’ Media & Education team. Portrait of Ailey uses rare historical film and still images as well as contemporary footage to create a sweeping narrative of Mr. Ailey as a performer, choreographer, celebrity, teacher, social activist, arts advocate, and creator of an enduring institution that is currently celebrating its 65th anniversary.

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater's 65th Anniversary Opening Night Gala Performance and Party Honors Beloved Artistic Director Emerita Judith Jamison Wednesday, November 29 at 7pm

NEW YORK – Updated November 21, 2023 —On the heels of a successful international tour, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater kicks off its 65th anniversary season at New York City Center on November 29 with an Opening Night Gala honoring beloved trailblazer and iconic Artistic Director Emerita Judith Jamison in her 80th year. The celebration pays tribute to her legendary career as a groundbreaking dancer, choreographer, and visionary leader who has left an indelible mark on Ailey, the greater dance community, and American culture. The evening’s Honorary Chairs are Tony®, Emmy®, and GRAMMY® Award-winning and Oscar-nominated actress, singer, author, and producer Cynthia Erivo and 3x Emmy® Award-winning co-host of ABC’s “The View” and 2x New York Times best-selling author Sunny Hostin.

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater Returns To Lincoln Center's David H. Koch Theater After Three-Year Absence From June 15-19

New York – June 2, 2022 – Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, beloved as one of the world’s most popular dance companies, returns to Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts after a three-year absence for a six-performance engagement at the David H. Koch Theater June 15-19 that caps a decade of Artistic Director Robert Battle’s leadership. In addition to diverse programs featuring world premiere of Ailey Resident Choreographer Jamar Roberts’ In a Sentimental Mood and company premiere of Paul Taylor’s DUET, the season includes The Ailey Spirit Gala Benefit with Honorary Chair Grammy® Emmy® and Tony® Award-winning actress, singer and producer Cynthia Erivo; and An Evening Celebrating Jacqueline Green. Additional highlight includes free Ailey Extension “Dance in Times Square” outdoor workshop series hosted on Fridays at 5pm now through NYC Dance Week.

Featured Press Coverage

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Thirteen - Connecting Dancer Alvin Ailey’s Life Story With Classrooms

Acclaimed choreographer Alvin Ailey infused his life story and Black cultural roots into his modern dance works, which have been enjoyed by millions since he first founded Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in 1958 in New York City. Early dances such as Revelations remain favorites in the company repertory today, but many people don’t know the background of the artist, who died in 1989.