The Alvin Ailey Dance Theater continues to present works online in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, including its first virtual Ailey Spirit Benefit June 11. The program will stream on YouTube and Facebook at 7:30 PM ET and will be available for one week.
The digital gala will include Ailey artists, as well as rising stars through the Ailey II, The Ailey School, and AileyCamp, plus guest appearances by Tony winners Leslie Odom Jr. and Cynthia Erivo, Angela Bassett, Timothy Shriver, Lorraine Toussaint, and Bryan Stevenson.
A portion of proceeds from the evening will go toward the Equal Justice Initiative, founded by Just Mercy author Stevenson.
Among the featured performances will be a vintage presentation of the company's inaugural piece Blues Suite; Variation, a new work by Artistic Director Robert Battle; and a virtual reunion of the company in an homage to Ailey's signature Revelations. Afterward, the celebration will continue with music by DJ D-Nice and Ms. Nix.
The event is part of Ailey All Access, the organization's online initiative highlighting free works from its repertory, archival films, interviews, and dance and fitness classes. Past offerings have included Camille A. Brown's City of Rain, Battle's The Hunt, and Ailey's Revelations.