Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater returns to Boston

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater returns to Boston

Marking 65 years and its status as one of the world’s most popular dance companies, the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater returns to Boston for its annual performances, May 2-5 at the Boch Center Wang Theatre. The five-show run features three distinct programs including two Boston premieres (in-demand choreographer Amy Hall Garner’s first Ailey commission, CENTURY and Jamar Roberts’s 2019 work, Ode); new productions Alonzo King’s 2000 piece Follow the Subtle Current Upstream and Ronald K. Brown’s 2009 favorite Dancing Spirit; and a performance highlighting Alvin Ailey’s vibrant choreographic genius through excerpts of his best dances. Ailey’s iconic masterpiece Revelations closes every performance.

As part of the company’s visit, Celebrity Series will host “Revelations for Everyone,” a free, public workshop, where company dancers will teach excerpts of Alvin Ailey’s signature work as well as his popular dance Night Creature. “Revelations for Everyone” takes place Wed., May 1, @ 7 pm at the Reggie Lewis Track and Athletic Center, 1350 Tremont Street in Boston’s Roxbury neighborhood. Information and RSVP link are here.

Performances on Thu., May 2 at 8 pm and Sun., May 5 at 3 pm feature the area premieres of Jamar Roberts’s Ode and Amy Hall Garner’s CENTURY. CENTURY (r.) is a deeply personal piece inspired by Hall Garner’s grandfather on the eve of his 100th birthday. Set to music by Ray Charles, Count Basie, The Dirty Dozen Brass Band and more, CENTURY celebrates life, resilience and joy. Ode is a meditation on the beauty and fragility of life in a time of gun violence, set to Don Pullen’s Suite (Sweet) Malcolm (Part 1 Memories and Gunshots) and reimagined with an all-female cast.

On Fri., May 3 and Sat., May 4 at 8 pm, performances include new productions of Ronald K. Brown’s Dancing Spirit and Alonzo King’s Following the Subtle Current Upstream. Dancing Spirit is set to music by Duke Ellington, Wynton Marsalis and War; it evokes the elegance, dignity and generosity of legendary Ailey Artistic Director Emerita Judith Jamison. King’s Following the Subtle Current Upstream is an audacious, non-stop piece with movement that mirrors life’s boisterous ups and downs.

An Ailey Classics program on Sat., May 4 at 2 pm spans the breadth of Alvin Ailey’s rich catalog, including excerpts of Memoria, Night Creature, Pas de Duke, Masekela Langage, Opus McShann, Love Songs, For ‘Bird’–With Love, and Hidden Rites.

All performances culminate with Revelations (1960), whichhas been seen by more people around the world than any other modern dance work, and moved audiences with its powerful storytelling and soul-stirring music. Springing from Ailey’s childhood memories of growing up and attending services in Texas, Revelations pays homage to the rich cultural heritage of the African American community and explores the emotional spectrum of the human condition.

“I can’t imagine a more exciting and comprehensive journey through what makes the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater an American treasure,” says Nicole Taney, Artistic Director for Celebrity Series of Boston. “It’s not spring in Boston without Ailey, and it’s not Ailey without the

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater performances are May 2-5, 2024 at the Boch Center Wang Theater, located at 270 Tremont Street. Tickets are available at

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s Chalvar Monteiro and Jacquelin Harris in Amy Hall Garner’s CENTURY, Photo by Paul Kolnik