The New York-based African-American dance company makes a welcome return with everything from its standard repertoire pieces to important new works. No piece is more associated with Ailey than his 1960 “Revelations, ” his energetic and moving dance piece spotlighting black spirituals, and the piece continues to move audiences wherever the company performs and will be the finale of each of these area appearances. The Thursday performance will honor veteran dancer Renee Robinson, who is celebrating her twentieth year with the AAADT and who is the last remaining performer with the company personally selected by the company’s late founder Alvin Ailey—she will be spotlighted in Ronald K. Brown’s “Grace” and Carmen de Lavallade’s “Sweet Bitter Love” that night. Important Chicago premieres include Twyla Tharp’s “The Golden Section” (Saturday matinee and Sunday), which seeks to test the limits of physicality in dance and includes a score by David Byrne and Uri Sands’s “Existence Without Form” (Thursday) which attempts to fuse classic and modern dance styles with Indian and West African dance, but other company favorites to be performed include “The River” and “Pas De Duke,” as in Ellington, both restaged by associate artistic director Masazumi Chaya. (Dennis Polkow)
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater performs March 29-April 1 at Auditorium Theatre, 50 East Congress, (312)902-1500. $29-$79.