MANHATTAN, New York (WABC) -- The Alvin Ailey Dance Company kicked off their holiday season in grand fashion Wednesday night with a special benefit performance.
New works and returning favorites are on the program at the Alvin Ailey Dance Theater. There's even a romantic duet dance to the music of "Softly as I Leave You," part of a routine called "Nine Sinatra Songs."
The theater is back at full power and ready for a splendid kick off to a series of shows that includes two on Christmas Eve.
This has become a real holiday tradition in New York City.
A ticket to Wednesday night's gala was expensive. The idea is to raise money for Ailey education efforts, like scholarships to its famed school which trains young dancers, and to commission new dance works to be performed in the future. But tickets to see the company at the show could be had for less than $30 and the shows run for most of the next month.
No wonder there is a festive air Wednesday night, and gratitude for the support from New Yorkers who make it all possible.
"Our arts and education are really about equity and access and that's so important that we continue to have that be the mission of the company," Artistic Director Robert Battle said.
Battle led a tribute to Wednesday's honoree: arts patron Denise Little-Field Sobel.
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The honorary chair of this event was Tamron Hall whose show is seen every weekday morning at 10 a.m. on ABC7.