NEW YORK – Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater recently announced the 18-month commemoration of its 50th anniversary, including events, promotions, collaborations and special performances at The Joan Weill Center for Dance. The organization’s official anniversary date was Sunday, March 30.

“With the spirit and passion of Alvin Ailey in our hearts and a solid foundation for the future in our hands, we are excited to embark on 18 months of celebrations, all honoring Mr. Ailey’s dream and the organization’s core mission that inspires and unites people of all backgrounds through the universal language of dance,” said artistic director Judith Jamison.

The dance company also announced that it will enhance its traditional season of performances with special appearances at the Brooklyn Academy of Music and free performances in all five boroughs of New York City. Commemorative merchandise is available and its annual New York City Center performances and U.S. tour will include exciting collaborations with noted artists Wynton Marsalis and The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra and Sweet Honey in the Rock.


Executive Director Sharon Gersten Luckman announced significant contributions that have helped the organization surpass its initial goal of raising its endowment to $50 million for the 50th anniversary. “Goldenly,” a special video art installation of the company’s dancers, will be on display along the ground floor windows of the 9th Avenue side of the company’s headquarters on 55th Street throughout the 50th anniversary celebration. The company also premiered a short film, “Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater at 50–A Golden Anniversary Celebration,” that commemorates the rich history of this internationally renowned dance company. The film illustrates the growth of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater from its now fabled first performance in March 1958, to the building of the largest facility dedicated to dance in the United States.

Over five decades, the dance theater has performed in 71 countries on six continents, becoming not only the most-traveled dance company in the world, but a cherished cultural ambassador. A congressional resolution has also been presented calling the dance theatre a “vital American Cultural Ambassador to the World.”

For information about the 18-month 50th anniversary schedule of special events, performances and commemorative merchandise visit http://www.alvinailey.org. The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater is located at the Joan Weill Center for Dance, 405 W. 55th Street (at 9th Avenue), New York, NY 10019.  Call (212) 405-9000 for more information.