Written by | Ray Cornelius


Yours truly, Ray Cornelius is a member of the Ailey Circle-Atlanta for the 2015 Season. It’s a position I hold near and dear to my heart and one that I truly look forward to being a part of each year. As a member of this elite group of tastemakers, it is our job to share the wonderful experience of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre with our family, friends and social circles. Through our influence, we will help drive awareness and excitement to the upcoming Atlanta Ailey performance—February 11-15 at the Fabulous Fox Theater.

RC with Lillie Mae

RC with Loren Clifford of Edelman and PR Maven, Lillie Mae

An official Ailey Circle Kick Off Event was held Tuesday evening at the Edelman PR Firm where a number of the circle members got a chance to mix and mingle for the first time. We were treated to light hors d’oeuvres and “Aileytini’s” as well as a spectacular view of Midtown-Atlanta. I had an opportunity to speak to this year’s circle about my past experience as a member and my love for the dance company. Celebrity visual artist, Monica Tookes talked about what she hopes to gain as a new circle member and how the performing arts has always a big role in her work as a painter.

Ray Cornelius

RC sharing his Ailey experience with new Ailey Circle members

The official Ailey season kicks off next month, December 3-January 4, 2015 at New York’s City Center. This year’s world premiere is dedicated to singer, songwriter, actress, activist and Civil Rights icon, Odetta. The original piece was choreographed by renowned Ailey dancer, Matthew Rushing and features soul-stirring movements to songs by the artist anointed “the queen of American folk music” by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Monica Tookes

Celebrity Artist, Monica Tookes talking about being a new Ailey Circle member

Of course, no show would be an Ailey show without the must-see American classic, Revelations. This masterpiece has traveled around the world for over 54 years and has transcended all cultural barriers in a hopeful celebration of the human spirit. There will also be four other inspiring dance numbers that will be performed by the company.

Check out a sneak peek of “Odetta” below and a few more pics from the Ailey Circle Kick Off Event:

Photo 1

Ailey Circle was treated to delicious hors d’oeuvres and a special cocktail called the “Aileytini”


Edelman’s Taryn Solomon greeting the Ailey Circle members

RC with Ms. Cobb

RC with veteran Ailey Circle member Ajah Cobb

Ray and Monica

RC with new Ailey Circle member Monica Tookes

Ailey Circle

Introducing the 2014-15 Ailey Circle Atlanta Members #AileyATL15

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Photo Credits: Megan Alodie for RayCornelius.com