World AIDS Day 2014, December 1, marked the 25th anniversary of the great choreographer Alvin Ailey’s death from complications of the disease. December is notable for other reasons, though, as the troupe he founded, the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, begins its New York City Center season tonight, December 3, and featurig the company’s first married gay couple — dancers Antonio and Kirven Douthit-Boyd, who wed in July 2013.
The December 18 performance also benefits Dancers Responding to AIDS. After the New York season ends January 4, from February through May, the dance troupe will be on an 18-city U.S. tour; visit AlvinAiley.org to find a venue near you.
President Obama has recognized Alvin Ailey’s contributions to dance and civil rights by posthumously awarding him the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor. The company’s artistic director, Robert Battle, accepted the medal at a White House ceremony November 24.