Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater presents


Company member and Resident Choreographer Jamar Roberts offers a meditation on the beauty and fragility of life in a time of growing gun violence. Like his critically-acclaimed Members Don’t Get Weary (2017), this work features a jazz score—Don Pullen’s “Suite (Sweet) Malcolm (Part 1 Memories and Gunshots)”—and Roberts’ own costume designs.

“‘It is a tribute to victims of gun violence. I really wanted to do something really beautiful, so in essence, it’s a poem. I’m not really depicting any one scene in particular, but I really wanted to do something that was gonna really help facilitate healing to most of the communities and families affected,’ Roberts said.” – CBS New York

“The music fit his vision: ‘Ode’ isn’t about gun violence, but a balm for those who have lived in its aftermath. It’s rooted in healing.” – The New York Times

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 – as well as millions more through television broadcasts, film screenings, and online platforms.

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.