The Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation unveiled some big news today: The company and school’s permanent home on New York City’s west side, The Joan Weill Center for Dance, will have three new floors by this time next year. The new expansion will house four studios and classrooms. Most impressively, the foundation has already raised $48 of its $50 million goal.
The organization announced its plans in typical Ailey fashion—that is, with plenty of worthy pomp and circumstance—with performances of Revelations excerpts (I spy familiar faces: Ailey II members from our July cover shoot and former demonstrator Courtney Celeste Spears) and a new piece by The Ailey School’s co-director, Tracy Inman, danced by students of the school. Artistic director Robert Battle thanked Elaine Wynn, for whom the new education wing will be named, for her generosity and stories.
Students from The Ailey School performing. Photo by Christopher Duggan, courtesy of Ailey.
- The organization has created a new engagement platform, Destination Dance, which will forge collaborations with other urban community centers (starting in Atlanta).
- Ailey will pilot its second dance curriculum in NYC elementary schools this fall, using Alvin Ailey’s 1974 ballet Night Creature. This curriculum was designed by Catherine Gallant.
- AileyDance Kids, a program that offers dance classes to more than 5,000 public school students in NY and New Jersey, will now serve special needs children, too.
Ailey artistic director Robert Battle with Elaine Wynn. Photo by Christopher Duggan, courtesy of Ailey.