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Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater

Tuesday, April 25, 2017 at 7:30PM
Fine Arts Center Concert Hall

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater Robert Battle, Artistic Director
Experience the power of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and see for yourself why this extraordinary company is hailed as America's cultural ambassador to the world. From the pulse-racing thrill of contemporary favorites to the spirit-lifting joy of beloved classics, these extraordinary dancers bring African-American cultural expression and the American modern dance tradition to life. The Ailey company has performed for an estimated 23 million people around the globe as well as millions more through television broadcasts. These are some of the best dancers on the planet! The program for the evening will be a mixed rep, closing with the audience favorite, Revelations.

Ticket Prices Angel Tickets
$70, $65, $30; Five College Student & Youth 17 and Under: $30, $25, $20; Five College Faculty & Staff: Please call the Box Office

Tickets on Sale Now!


You can Eat. Art. Love. at the University Club located on campus, just a short walk from the FAC Concert Hall.

First Course: House salad and New England clam chowder
Main Course: Chicken Roulade, Grilled Herb Flat Iron or Cauliflower Arancini 
Dessert: Warm apple crisp with vanilla ice cream or Chocolate torte with fresh berries

Click here for more information and a complete listing.

Performance Webpage

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater grew from a now-fabled performance in March 1958 at the 92nd Street Y in New York City. Led by Alvin Ailey and a group of young African-American modern dancers, that performance changed forever the perception of American dance. The Ailey company has gone on to perform for an estimated 25 million people at theaters in 48 states and 71 countries on six continents – and has reached millions more online and through television broadcasts.

In 2008, a U.S. Congressional resolution designated the Company as "a vital American cultural ambassador to the world" that celebrates the uniqueness of the African-American cultural experience and the preservation and enrichment of the American modern dance heritage. When Mr. Ailey began creating dances, he drew upon his "blood memories" of Texas, the blues, spirituals, and gospel as inspiration, which resulted in the creation of his most popular and critically acclaimed work, Revelations. Although he created 79 ballets over his lifetime, Mr. Ailey maintained that his company was not exclusively a repository for his own work. Today, the Company continues Mr. Ailey's mission by presenting important works of the past and commissioning new ones. In all, more than 235 works by over 90 choreographers have been part of the Ailey company's repertory. Before his untimely death in 1989, Alvin Ailey named Judith Jamison as his successor, and over the next 21 years, she brought the Company to unprecedented success. Ms. Jamison, in turn, personally selected Robert Battle to succeed her in 2011, and The New York Times declared he "has injected the company with new life."

Robert Battle, Artistic Director
Robert Battle became artistic director of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in July 2011, making him only the third person to head the Company since it was founded in 1958. Mr. Battle has a long-standing association with the Ailey organization. A frequent choreographer and artist-in-residence at Ailey since 1999, he has set many of his works on Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and Ailey II, and at The Ailey School. The Company's current repertory includes his ballets No Longer Silent and Awakening. In addition to expanding the Ailey repertory with works by diverse artists, Mr. Battle has also instituted the New Directions Choreography Lab to help develop the next generation of choreographers. Mr. Battle's journey to the top of the modern dance world began in the Liberty City neighborhood of Miami, Florida. He showed artistic talent early and studied dance at a high school arts magnet program before moving on to Miami's New World School of the Arts, under the direction of Daniel Lewis and Gerri Houlihan, and finally to the dance program at The Juilliard School, under the direction of Benjamin Harkarvy, where he met his mentor, Carolyn Adams. He danced with The Parsons Dance Company from 1994 to 2001, and also set his choreography on that company starting in 1998. Mr. Battle then founded his own Battleworks Dance Company, which made its debut in 2002 in Düsseldorf, Germany, as the US representative to the World Dance Alliance's Global Assembly. Battleworks subsequently performed extensively at venues, including The Joyce Theater, Dance Theater Workshop, American Dance Festival, and Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival.

Mr. Battle was honored as one of the "Masters of African-American Choreography" by the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in 2005, and he received the prestigious Statue Award from the Princess Grace Foundation-USA in 2007. In 2014 he received an honorary doctorate from The University of the Arts. Most recently Mr. Battle was named a 2015 Visiting Fellow for The Art of Change, an initiative by the Ford Foundation. He is a sought-after keynote speaker and has addressed a number of high-profile organizations, including the United Nations Leaders Programme and the UNICEF Senior Leadership Development Programme.

"Unbelievable. Go see Ailey. It's change-your-life good." – NBC's Today Show

"This company's nonchalant virtuosity routinely sends its audience into the rapture zone." – The Washington Post

"An international powerhouse known for explosive and appealing modern dance."  – The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Contra-Tiempo - Agua Furiosa!

Thursday, October 6 at 7:30p.m.
Fine Arts Center Concert Hall

This Los Angeles based dance company performs their newest evening-length work, Agua Furiosa, challenging the audience to confront the harsh realities of race in our country. Inspired by Shakespeare's The Tempest and Oya, the Afro-Cuban deity of wind and storms, Agua Furiosa merges call and response, a live vocalist, water themes, fierce physicality and the performers' own personal narratives.

Sacred Dances & Legends of Hawai`i
When Gods Mingled with Mortals: Sacred Dances & Legends of Hawai`i

Thursday, February 9 at 7:30 p.m.
Fine Arts Center Concert Hall

Featuring Michael Pili Pang and the Halau Hula Ka No'Eau Ensemble. Celebrating 30 years of dance, chants and traditions, Halau Hula Ka Noʻeau captivates audiences with their exquisitely artistic and culturally authentic Hawaiian dance performances. Choreographer and cultural historian Michael Pili Pang, presents a new work based on the traditional legends of Hawaiian gods who were revered as heroes and the creators of the Hawaiian Islands. Pang creates innovative choreography that combines traditional hula, music and chants into high artistic expression.

Sydney Dance Company
Sydney Dance Company

Tuesday, February 28 at 7:30 p.m.
Fine Arts Center Concert Hall

Sydney Dance Company comes to the FAC under the exuberant artistic direction of Rafael Bonachela, a self-proclaimed "movement junkie." Vividly imagined, his sensuous aesthetic has signaled a new chapter for the legendary company whose dancers infuse the stage with "creative precision and exhilarating energy." (Sydney Morning Herald) For its Amherst appearance, the company presents a powerful mixed repertory program that delivers a high-energy tour de force, celebrating the dancers' fierce physicality. "Passionate yet highly precise, demanding and often breath-stealing." – The Guardian


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