A Digital Ailey Season Celebrates ‘Revelations’ at 60

Emilee Geist

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater is the latest company to move ahead with the creation of new work while performing arts venues remain almost completely shut down in New York. The troupe’s monthlong December season will include a world premiere from Jamar Roberts, Ailey’s choreographer in residence, and the debut […]

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater is the latest company to move ahead with the creation of new work while performing arts venues remain almost completely shut down in New York. The troupe’s monthlong December season will include a world premiere from Jamar Roberts, Ailey’s choreographer in residence, and the debut of a collaborative response to Alvin Ailey’s “Revelations” by Matthew Rushing, Clifton Brown and Yusha-Marie Sorzano.

“A teacher once said to me that what is great about great art or great teaching is the ability to see what is there as opposed to focusing on what isn’t there,” Robert Battle, the company’s artistic director, said in an interview. “This virtual season speaks to that; we’re deciding to look at the possibilities rather than focus on what we can’t do.”

Mr. Roberts’s new dance, “A Jam Session for Troubling Times,” was created as a contribution to this year’s Charlie Parker centennial and will feature Parker’s music. Jazz is a continuing source of inspiration for Mr. Roberts, who has used it for earlier dances, including last year’s “Ode.”

Duke Ellington, another jazz legend, will also be the focus of a program. “We didn’t actually set out to do that as a programmatic thing,” Mr. Battle said. “It’s just that that is so much a part of what we gravitate to, and I think that’s in no small part due to the founder and his interest in jazz.”

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