In his first year as artistic director, Robert Battle is setting an ambitious course for Alvin Ailey Dance Theater, judiciously honoring the past while infusing the Ailey rep with fresh works outside the company’s signature fare. Programs for the six Chicago performances each conclude with the requisite staging of “Revelations, ” Ailey’s iconic work set to African American spirituals, but the journey from curtain to bows is an eclectic one. Lyrical modern phrasing, pop-and-lock hip-hop, and rhythmic Indian footwork share a bill that showcases the versatility of the dancers. Works include slick, witty “Minus 16” by Ohad Naharin; the Chicago premiere of “Home” by hip-hop choreographer Rennie Harris, set to gospel house music and inspired by the stories of people affected by HIV; and “Arden Court” by modern master Paul Taylor, a first for the company. (Sharon Hoyer)
At the Auditorium Theatre, 50 East Congress, (800)982-2787. Wednesday-Sunday, April 11-15. $30-$90.