Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater

When: March 9-13, 8 p.m., Sat., March 13, 2 p.m. and Sun., March 14, 3 p.m. 2010

One night in 1958, a curious crowd filled New York's 92nd Street Young Men's Hebrew Association to watch Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater's first performance. Little did audience members know they were witnessing the birth of a national treasure. The de facto ambassadors of American modern dance return next week for their annual residency at Cal Performances, where their emotionally and physically powerful dancing wins jubilant ovations. This year's tour honors the twenty-year tenure of artistic director Judith Jamison, who took the helm after Ailey's untimely passing in 1989 and will retire next year. Three mixed bills include a trio of Bay Area premieres along with Hymn, Jamison's Emmy Award-winning tribute to Ailey. The beloved Revelations closes each performance. Visit for date-specific programming. At Zellerbach Hall (Bancroft Ave. at Telegraph Ave., Berkeley) Tuesday-Sunday, Mar. 9-14. Tue.-Sat. 8 p.m.; Sat. 2 p.m.; Sun. 3 p.m.; $36-$62. 510-642-9988 or

Claudia Bauer

Price: $36-$62

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