The River

The River is Alvin Ailey’s acclaimed composition with the late musical genius Duke Ellington, choreographed and composed in 1970 for American Ballet Theatre and first performed by Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in 1981. One of over a dozen dances Ailey created to Ellington’s music, The River was Ellington’s first symphonic score written specifically for dance and represented a major collaboration between two great American artists. Combining classical ballet, modern dance and jazz, Ailey’s allegory of birth, life and rebirth abounds with water references, from the spinning “Vortex” solo to the romantic “Lake” duet. The grandeur of the dancing in this full-company ballet is matched by the music in a suite that suggests tumbling rapids and slow currents on its voyage to the great sea, mirroring the journey of life. The River has been restaged by Associate Artistic Director Masazumi Chaya for several companies in addition to this latest production for Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, which also features costumes newly designed for the first time since the 1970’s.

Featured News Releases

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater Announces Lincoln Center Season Capping Artistic Director Robert Battle's 10th Anniversary June 15-19, 2022

New York – April 21, 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’ David H. Koch Theater June 15-19, 2022, for a six- performance engagement that caps a decade of Artistic Director Robert Battle’s leadership. Ailey’s acclaimed dancers bring to life four diverse, dynamic programs featuring the world premiere of Ailey Resident Choreographer Jamar Roberts’s In a Sentimental Mood, the company premiere of Paul Taylor’s Duet, Alvin Ailey’s The River, a Battle 10th Anniversary program, and more. Alvin Ailey’s masterpiece Revelations provides the uplifting finale of each performance.

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater National Tour January 28 - May 8 Celebrates A Decade Of Robert Battle's Leadership And 50th Anniversary Of Alvin Ailey's Cry

NEW YORK – JANUARY 27, 2022 – Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, America’s beloved cultural ambassador to the world, returns to stages on a coast-to-coast National Tour starting January 28 in Philadelphia, kicking off Black History Month at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. on February 1 , and traveling to cities like Atlanta, Miami, Berkeley, Boston, Chicago, and Los Angeles before the finale in Newark on May 8. Marking a decade of leading the Company forward, Artistic Director Robert Battle presents Ailey’s renowned artists in a diverse repertory of premieres, new productions, and Ailey classics. Highlights include a Battle 10th Anniversary program; two world premieres adapted from video to stage, For Four by Robert Battle and Holding Space by Ailey Resident Choreographer Jamar Roberts; the return of hip-hop innovator Rennie Harris’s acclaimed Lazarus; 50 Years of Cry commemorating Ailey’s beloved classic dedicated to “all Black women everywhere—especially our mothers;” and Ailey & Ellington, spotlighting cherished classics from the series of more than a dozen ballets that Alvin Ailey created celebrating the musical genius of the eminent American composer Duke Ellington. Alvin Ailey’s American masterpiece Revelations, which has inspired generations through its powerful storytelling and soul- stirring spirituals since its creation in 1960, will reach all cities on the North American tour.

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.