Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, recognized as a vital “American Cultural Ambassador,” returns to the New York City Center stage for the 45th consecutive year from Dec. 2, 2015 – Jan. 3, 2016. Led by Robert Battle, Ailey’s annual engagement has become a joyous holiday tradition.

The performances will feature three new productions of Ailey Classics, a company premiere by Paul Taylor, and world premieres by Kyle Abraham, Ronald K. Brown and Robert Battle — his first since becoming artistic director. Highlights include:

“Awakening,” the eagerly-awaited world premiere by Robert Battle, set to the complex orchestral music of composer John Mackey.

“Open Door,” Ron K. Brown’s sixth Ailey world premiere, driven by the music of Arturo O’Farrill and the Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra.

“Untitled America: First Movement,” a world premiere by MacArthur “Genius” Kyle Abraham. Set to music by Laura Mvula, it is the first installment of a three-part piece that addresses the lineage of families affected by the injustices of the incarceration system. The remainder of the timely work will unfold over the next two Ailey seasons.

“Piazzola Caldera,” a company premiere of modern dance master Paul Taylor’s sizzling ballet capturing the essence of tango.

A new production of “Blues Suite,” created for the company’s first performance in 1958. The piece, which conjures Alvin Ailey’s “blood memories” of rural, Depression-era southern Texas, will be performed with a live, on-stage band.

A new production of “Cry,” the physically and emotionally demanding solo created on Judith Jamison in 1971 as a birthday present for Alvin Ailey’s mother and dedicated to “all black women everywhere – especially our mothers.”

A new production of “Love Songs,” choreographed by Alvin Ailey to music by Donny Hathaway and Nina Simone for the recently deceased Ailey legend Dudley Williams.

New York City Center’s five-week holiday season will also showcase 2015-16 season premieres and new productions, including: “Exodus,” the recent world premiere by bold hip-hop choreographer Rennie Harris; Robert Battle’s powerful and acclaimed “No Longer Silent,” which brings to life the music of Erwin Schulhoff who was silenced by the Nazis; Talley Beatty’s “Toccata” staged 20 years after his passing; and Judith Jamison’s sensual “A Case of You duet from Reminiscin’,” performed to Diana Krall’s version of the Joni Mitchell song by the same title. Notable ballets from Ailey’s past seasons will also be presented, including Aszure Barton’s propulsive work “LIFT,” Christopher Wheeldon’s dreamlike “After the Rain Pas de Deux,” Ronald K. Brown’s spiritually-charged works “Grace and Four Corners,” and Hofesh Shechter’s primal “Uprising.”

The Dec. 2 Opening Night Gala Benefit performance and party will honor BNY Mellon and Agnes & Gerald Hassell. The five-week holiday season will include a special performance on Christmas Eve and a New Year’s Eve 50th Anniversary Tribute to Judith Jamison.

From February to May, the company will embark on a 20-city North American tour hitting major markets such as Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Chicago, Boston, and Toronto. For more information, visit:

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