Last night June 11, the premiere of the first-ever Ailey Spirit Benefit global broadcast united over 200,000 viewers with an uplifting evening featuring all aspects of Ailey, from the young students from The Ailey School to the renowned Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. Special guest appearances included Angela Bassett, Cynthia Erivo, Leslie Odom, Jr., Timothy Shriver, Lorraine Toussaint and powerful remarks by Bryan Stevenson,f ounder of the Equal Justice Initiative whose bestselling book “Just Mercy,” was recently adapted into a feature film.
Audiences around the world experienced a special program that spoke to the current moment featuring interviews with founder Alvin Ailey, vintage footage of Ailey’s classic ballet Blues Suite that launched the Company in 1958, along with a premiere by Artistic Director Robert Battle entitled Variation, created during this time of social distancing. In a memorable finale, the Ailey dancers came together while apart filming in different locations for a re-imagined celebration of 60 years of Revelations, Alvin Ailey’s soul-stirring masterpiece that is needed more than ever during these trying times. A celebration of unity afterwards was hosted by Dapper Dan with music by DJ D-Nice and Ms. Nix welcomed more than 750 guests to join in the dance.