Ailey Spring Gala Virtual Broadcast Presents A Celebration of Hope, Promise and Future

Last night the premiere of Ailey Spring Gala starring Harlem Alicia Keys, and others edified viewers around the world on a free show.

The event celebrates hope, promise and the future with performances by Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and young dancers gifted with Ailey’s school.

Presenting a special tribute to our nation’s capital, Washington, DC, appearances include Smithsonian Honorary Secretary Lonnie G. Bunch III, Congressman James E. Clyburn, Harlem artist / activist Alicia Keys and former First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama.

The special one-hour program available until Saturday, June 26, 2021, offers the virtual audience Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in three premieres expressing the themes of the evening choreographed by the members of the Company, Ghrai DeVore-Stokes (Hope), Chalvar monteiro (To promise), and Kanji Segawa (Future).

Ailey’s Extraordinary Dancers have made various iconic New York City locations their stage to create the new dance films, including Hudson Yards, St. Nicholas Park and The Unisphere, one of the largest globes ever made and built as a symbol of world peace.

The show honors late Congressman John Lewis for his unwavering commitment to the civil rights movement.

As part of the tribute, Congressman James E. Clyburn reflects on Mr. Lewis’ legacy, followed by excerpts from In memory, a powerful film created as a commission for the virtual March on the Washington Film Festival by resident choreographer Ailey Jamar roberts.

The evening also includes For four, a filmed dance choreographed by the artistic director Battle of Robert on “Delfeayo’s Dilemma” by Wynton Marsalis, and a performance by Clifton Brown and talented students from Ailey School at Live birds!, based on Alvin Ailey’s dancing tribute to jazz legend Charlie “Bird” Parker.

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The cheerful program ended with a post-gala dance party featuring music from DJ MOS and DJ Kiss, which invited guests to join in the dance and celebrate the future of our nation’s capital and from the first city of dance, a great legacy of hope that inspired us all and the promise of the next generation.

The free presentation can be viewed via the Ailey Spring Gala Site, for 48 hours until 7:30 p.m. EDT on Saturday, June 26; made possible by the generous support of Southern Company, a leading energy company serving nine million customers through its subsidiaries.

The Co-Chairs of Benefit are Michele and Timothy Barakett, Lyndon K. Boozer, Sela and Art Collins, Stephen J. Meringoff, Daria and Eric Wallach and Yelberton R. Watkins; The vice-presidents are Joyce Brayboy, Janell Mayo Duncan and Lawrence Duncan III, Tanya Leah Lombard, Nicole Venable, Vanessa Reed and Katharine Weymouth; and the president of the company is the president and chief executive officer of Southern Company, Thomas A. Fanning.

Gala raises critical funds needed to support programs important to youth, like scholarships to Ailey School and Ailey’s The arts in education and community programs, including AileyCamp – an innovative, full scholarship summer day camp that uses dance as a way to help downtown youth stretch their mind, body and spirit.

This show is an outstanding culmination of a series of performances inspiring millions of people around the world as part of Ailey All Access, an online initiative to stream weekly performances, short films by the dancers, dance and fitness classes and more, which has reached 15 million people in 121 countries since its launch in March 2020.

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