on pointe

Alvin Ailey American Dance leaps into Houston for historic performance

Alvin Ailey American Dance leaps into Houston for historic performance

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
Alvin Ailey brings its Revelations to Houston. Photo by Dario Calmese

As America’s preeminent dance ambassador, the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater has transfixed audiences for decades, bringing earnest and riveting performances that tell the story of the African American experience in the U.S.

And perhaps no performance is more defining of the company than the masterful, iconic Revelations, which debuted in 1960.

Locals can take now part in that soaring dance experience Friday and Saturday, February 18 and 19 at Jones Hall. Tickets start at $40 and can be purchased online via the Society for the Performing Arts.

At once mournful and triumphant, Revelations harnesses African-American spirituals, song-sermons, gospel songs, and blues to speak to Ailey’s upbringing in rural Rogers, Texas, and Black heritage in America, which Ailey himself has called “sometimes sorrowful, sometimes jubilant, but always hopeful.”

Fans can expect rousing favorites and instant classics such as “I Been ’Buked,” the rousing “Wade in the Water,” and the exuberant finale, “Rocka My Soul in the Bosom of Abraham.”

A New York city institution and globally beloved entity, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater has performed for some 25 million people in 71 countries on six continents. The ensemeble, now led by Robert Battle, has become the de facto American dance organization, promoting the uniqueness of the African American cultural experience and the preservation of dance.

Texas native Ailey was posthumously presented the Presidential Medal of Freedom (the nation’s highest civilian honor) and his group has been declared by Congress as a “Cultural Ambassador to the World.”

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Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater presents Revelations; 7:30 pm Friday February 18 and 2 pm and 7:30 pm Saturday, February 19; Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana St.; tickets start at $40 can be purchased online.