Searchlight

A group of dancers support a central woman, guiding her on a spiritual quest to find light in Robert Battle’s new work, Searchlight, inspired by the relationship of Ailey II Artistic Director Francesca Harper and her late mother, Denise Jefferson (former director of The Ailey School). With his signature musical sophistication, Battle juxtaposes the tension of Steve Reich’s “It’s Gonna Rain, Part II” with the healing quality of Renée Fleming and Christoph Eschenbach’s “Nacht Und Träume, D.827,” finding equilibrium between the extremes just as the dancers find perfect balance in motion.  

Featured News Releases

Ailey II - The Next Generation Of Dance - Returns To The Ailey Citigroup Theater For Two-Week Season March 23 - April 3

NEW YORK – FEBRUARY 16, 2022 — Ailey II, the celebrated second company to Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, returns to its home, The Ailey Citigroup Theater, for a highly anticipated two-week season featuring 10 performances from March 23 - April 3. The gifted 12-member ensemble will treat New York audiences to three dynamic programs featuring works by Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater Artistic Director Robert Battle, William Forsythe, Ailey II Artistic Director Francesca Harper, Ailey company member Yannick Lebrun, and Andrea Miller.

Ailey II, The Next Generation Of Dance, Returns To U.S. Stages Led By New Artistic Director Francesca Harper

NEW YORK – FEBRUARY 1, 2022 — Ailey II, merging the spirit and energy of the country’s best early-career dance talent with the passion and creative vision of outstanding emerging and established choreographers, returns to stages across the country this winter. Ailey II Artistic Director Francesca Harper—an internationally renowned performer, choreographer, director, and multi-disciplinary artist—is nurturing new creative voices and propelling the Company forward during her inaugural season. Trained at The Ailey School (and the daughter of the late Denise Jefferson, director of The Ailey School 1984-2010), Ms. Harper brings fresh perspectives to Mr. Ailey’s legacy. Program highlights from the repertory for the national tour and the New York City season featuring four new works and one world premiere include dances by Alvin Ailey, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater Artistic Director Robert Battle, William Forsythe, Francesca Harper, Ailey company member Yannick Lebrun, and Andrea Miller.

Featured Press Coverage

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ABC7 - Alvin Ailey Artistic Director Makes New York City Debut

In celebration of Women's History Month, we highlight a trailblazer in the world of ballet who is now heading up the next generation of performers at a dance theater in New York City. Francesca Harper is making her New York City debut as the artistic director at Alvin Ailey II on Wednesday night. Harper is following her mother, the late Denise Jefferson's footsteps. Her mother directed the Ailey school for roughly 26 years. When Jefferson was a child dreaming of becoming a ballerina, a teacher pointed out that there were none of color, and she quit. She would later return to dance, but that story stuck with Harper.