For the first time ever, the Alvin Ailey Spirit Gala was held in the Jazz at Lincoln Center auditorium. The program made a bold start, bringing to the stage five drummers who filled the air with powerful sounds that echoed in every direction. The beat of their drums would call for the first dance performance titled Djoutalla, where Alvin Extension dancers (an open to all class offered by the organization) set the tone of the performances to follow. Some of the performances included Chasing the Spirit, choreographed by Hope Boykin, and excerpts from Revelations, which was famously choreographed by Alvin Ailey himself. As students of all ages and backgrounds took to the stage, guests were moved by the passion each had to offer.

The Alvin Ailey dance company has long stood as a symbol of legacy, honor, and hope for a never-ending generation of newcomers. Some might add that their spirit of rebellion through art and dance is what makes the company what it is in its continued success. The company is persistent in its efforts to encourage lovers of dance, whether on the stage or from the crowd.

This year, Alvin Ailey welcomed musician, actor, and long-time supporter of the organization Andra Day as the gala’s honorary chair. More notable guests include Jillian Hervey, Damaris Lewis, Karen Pittman, and Robin Roberts. The night was followed by a vibrant dinner where the dancing continued, this time with guests were moving to the beats of DJ M.O.S., who knew just how to keep the dancefloor in full swing.

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