It’s easy to take this institution for granted, but Alvin Ailey struck a real blow for African-American dance when he founded the company in 1958, and his successor, Judith Jamison, has kept it at the forefront of the dance world since he died in 1989. She contributes a new piece to the programs being performed here this weekend: Reminiscin’, set in a bar/dance hall to music by female jazz artists, among them Sarah Vaughan, Diana Krall, Ella Fitzgerald, and Roberta Flack. Also in its Chicago premiere is Ronald K. Brown’s Ife/My Heart, which combines modern, hip-hop, and African dance in a piece Brown calls a “family love prayer.” Deborah Jowitt of the Village Voice describes Hans van Manen’s new Solo as a “gem” that highlights the powerful dancing of its three men, and Acceptance in Surrender is a new work by company members Hope Boykin, Abdur-Rahim Jackson, and Matthew Rushing. Ailey’s 1960 favorite, Revelations, closes each program (see listing for programming details). Thu 5/18, 7:30 PM, Fri 5/19, 8 PM, Sat 5/20, 2 and 8 PM, and Sun 5/21, 3 PM, Auditorium Theatre, 50 E. Congress, 312-902-1500, 312-922-2110, ext. 357, for groups of ten or more, $29-$76.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Paul Kolnik.