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Issue Date: May 2009


Golden Ticket


Ilana Yergin
You know you’ve arrived when Mattel wants to make a Barbie doll in your honor. In celebration of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s 50th anniversary, the company is embarking on a 50-city global tour, and it’s going beyond the stage with products that will keep fans celebrating all year long. For its State Theatre performances, May 15 through 17, Alvin Ailey Dance will be reviving many of its late founder’s best-known pieces — includingBlues Suite,Revelations andAnniversary Highlights, which features dozens of excerpts from Ailey’s ballets. “A 50th anniversary is really exciting for any company,” says associate artistic director Masazumi Chaya. “Every stop we’re doing on this tour will be celebrating Mr. Ailey.” Want to join the fun? Here’s a look at what else the company is producing to mark the milestone.
 

Milestone Memorabilia

Barbie Doll, $39.95, barbie.com
Designed by Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater artistic director Judith Jamison to commemorate the theater’s 50th anniversary, this gracefully leaping Barbie wears the same design as dancers in Revelations, including matching stage makeup.

Our Take
:
Marilyn Monroe and Lucille Ball have been similarly honored. And the dance company is much more worthy than Lindsay Lohan, who also had a Barbie created in her (former) image.
 
 
Hallmark Cards, $2.49, hallmark.com
Part of Hallmark’s Mahogany line of greeting cards, these six cards feature pictures of Ailey dancers taken by acclaimed New York photographer Andrew Eccles, along with an inspirational quote.
 
Our Take: While they might not be as fun (and certainly not as cheesy) as those singing cards that are all the rage, they do stand out from all the run-of-the-mill Target fare.

 
Ailey Ascending: A Portrait in Motion, $55, aileyboutique.com
The commemorative art book features about 85 photographs taken by Eccles, which capture performances, behind-the-scenes moments and portraits of the dancers.

Our Take: No, your already-overcrowded coffee table probably doesn’t need another book, but this one features some very striking images.

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