Alvin Ailey is one of the best-known names in the world of dance – and for good reason. Ailey rose from a poverty-stricken childhood to become a celebrated dancer and visionary choreographer, along the way changing the look of modern dance and elevating the stature of black dancers.
Portrait of Alvin Ailey in 1955 by Carl Van Vechten. (Wikimedia Commons/Library of Congress)
Fifty-five years ago he founded the Alvin Ailey Dance Theater, which more than 14 years after his death, is still producing some of the finest works of dance in America. Ailey was proud to have created a multiracial dance company, giving opportunities to minorities without showing preference to any race. It's a sensibility that continues with the dance company today – as does the high quality of the troupe's work.
Today would have been Ailey's 82nd birthday, and we're honoring his life with a look at the Alvin Ailey Dance Theater performing a few of the choreographer's greatest works.
Reflections in D
Written by Linnea Crowther