The Ailey company has always been about connection. Alvin Ailey made the solo Cry in 1971 “for all Black women everywhere–especially our mothers.” And he made it for Judith Jamison to dance, which she did to great acclaim; now she’s artistic director of the company, a position she’s held since Ailey’s death in 1989. During this engagement, the company performs both that piece and Jamison’s most recent, Echo: Far From Home, about the many people who’ve influenced her, including her parents, a teacher, a lover, and Ailey himself. The company also honors the past by keeping on dancers other companies might consider too old and ease out the door. I’ll never forget the tears in one woman’s eyes as she took her bows several years ago, yet her wise, passionate performance fully justified the thunderous applause. Several different programs offer a generous sampling, mostly of Ailey’s works. Wednesday at 7:30 and next Saturday, March 13, at 8: Geoffrey Holder’s The Prodigal Prince, Redha’s new piece Lettres d’Amour, and Ailey’s Revelations. Thursday, March 11, at 7:30: Ailey’s Cry and Streams, George Faison’s Suite Otis, and Jamison’s Echo: Far From Home. Next Friday, March 12, at 8 and Saturday, March 13, at 2: excerpts from Ailey’s Night Creature, Memoria, Pas de Duke, and Cry and a full-length performance of Revelations. And next Sunday, March 14, at 3: Streams, Cry, Revelations, and Echo: Far From Home. At the Auditorium Theatre, 50 E. Congress; $16-$46. Call 312-902-1500 for tickets, 312-922-2100, ext. 5, for group and subscription rates. –Laura Molzahn

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo by Andrew Eccles.