The performance includes the world premiere of Love Stories, a new work choreographed by artistic director Judith Jamison with Robert Battle and Rennie Harris, who use a variety of dance styles set to music by Stevie Wonder. Opening night also features Ailey's signature work, Revelations.
The gala kicks off a five-week season, which runs through January 2, at City Center on 55th Street in midtown Manhattan.
Other season highlights include Shining Star, a world-premiere work by David Parsons set to music by Earth, Wind and Fire, and the company premiere of Donald Byrd's Burlesque, with music by Louis Armstrong.
Ailey's 1973 ballet Hidden Rites will appear in a new production.
This year has been one of significant progress for AAADT, with the opening earlier this month of the company's new Joan Weill Center for Dance, which will house the company's school, rehearsal studios, and administration. The new space cost $54 million, funded by an enormously successful $79 million capital and endowment campaign.
AAADT was founded in 1958 by the Texas-born Ailey, who had studied with Martha Graham and with Lester Horton, founder of the first racially integrated dance company in the country. Over the course of its long history, AAADT has been devoted to the advancement of modern dance and black cultural expression.