“…more than 100,000 young people annually; including AileyCamp.” And, when Robert Battle, artistic director of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater (AAADT) welcomed everyone from the podium of the legendary Apollo Theater, he confirmed the mission of the evening noting that “…this was the most
successful Ailey at the Apollo ever;” they raised upwards of 1 million dollars.
Honorary guest for the evening was Robert Kiossane, a member of Ailey’s Board of Trustees, and honorary
chairs were Tyson Chandler of the New York Knicks and his wife, Kimberly Chandler. The stars of the evening however were the students, campers and company members. First up was AileyCamp New York who presented their rendition of Rennie Harris’ Home originally choreographed for AAADT, and they were voracious in capturing Harris’ nuanced urban movement language. With a wink, even Battle said, “…watch out Ailey.” Students from the Ailey School, from the very young (7 years old), to college age (early 20s), followed with a stunning presentation of Synthesis (2010) a blend of different dance styles and techniques offered at the school, choreographed by the teachers (Maguette Camara, Ana Marie Forsythe, Kazuko Hirabayashi, Yahaya Kamate, and Pedro Ruiz). The ever-talented Ailey II presented Amy Hall’s Virtues (2012), and AAADT followed with a rousing performance of Ronald K. Brown’s Grace (1999). After intermission, Kirven James Boyd and Samuel Lee Roberts of AAADT wowed the audience in Battle’s Strange Humors (1998), and to rousing applause and a standing ovation, the timeless classic Revelations (1960) closed the performance part of evening.
To the sounds of DJ Kiss, the crowd moved to the very fancy party area where dancers, honoree, and
all those who helped make the evening a success, partied into the night.