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Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
If Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater were a baseball team, its minor league teams would be located in Baltimore and the District. The 64-year-old company’s ranks have long been filled with DMV dancers, in part due to the strengths of programs at public arts high schools that provide quality training to dancers of color. Current Duke Ellington School of the Arts grads include Samantha Figgins and Michael Jackson, Jr., while District native Ghrai DeVore-Stokes did some of her training at the Kirov Academy in Brookland. Star dancer Jaqueline Green had never danced until she enrolled at the Baltimore School of the Arts; now she’s one of the school’s proudest alumni. The local talent pool is a factor, but so is money: The annual Ailey Gala at the Kennedy Center typically raises more than $700,000 in scholarship funding that allows local dancers to attend the Ailey School and related training programs. Coronavirus concerns have canceled that glamorous “party with the purpose” this year, but not the annual Kennedy Center run, which continues through Sunday, Feb. 6. Programs vary by performance, but stand-out offerings include Alvin Ailey’s “Pas de Duke,” set to music by Duke Ellington, and a new work by resident choreographer Jamar Roberts, who is having a bit of a moment—his first dance for New York City Ballet premieres Feb. 3. As is a tradition at the Kennedy Center, every performance will close with “Revelations,” Ailey’s landmark 1960 work celebrating spirituals and the importance of ritual in the Black church, from fan-waving to baptism to joyful dancing that’s fueled by a spirit of resilience—possibly divine, but definitely human. Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater performs through Feb. 6 at the Kennedy Center, 2700 F St. NW. kennedy-center.org. $49–$229. Proof of vax and masks required.