June in New York City means a lot of things, but it is also the official kickoff to the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s spring season at Lincoln Center. As in the past, the season began with a star-studded Ailey Spirit Gala (pdf) Wednesday in midtown Manhattan. The evening was a night to remember for attendees, who were greeted by Anthony Anderson and Roland S. Martin, along with gala co-chairs Gina F. Adams; Lynne and Anthony M. Carvette; Leslie and Tom Maheras; Almaz and Marc S. Strachan; and Daria L. and Eric J. Wallach, as well as vice chairs Michele and Timothy Barakett; N. Anthony and Robyn Coles; Jaishri and Vikas Kapoor; and Pamela D. Zilly and John H. Schaefer.
Other notable attendees included actress Phylicia Rashad, stage and screen legend Cicely Tyson, and musician Jon Batiste.
The evening began with a taste of a few Ailey favorites, including Cry, Robert Battle’s Awakening and a powerful Revelations performance. Following the evening’s performance, more than 750 guests partied like it was 1999 to the sounds of D.J. M.O.S. The evening helped raise more than $1 million for Ailey’s extensive educational programs for young people, including Ailey Camp and scholarships to the Ailey School.
Kimberly Wilson is the social media editor at The Root. Follow her on Twitter.