Profile: Born in Rogers, Texas on January 5th, 1931, Alvin Ailey is the founder of Alvin Ailey Dance Theatre.
The Early Years: Alvin Ailey was introduced to dance by performances of the Katherine Dunham Dance Company and the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo. His formal dance training began with an introduction to Lester Horton’s classes by his friend, Carmen de Lavallade.
Choreography: When Mr. Ailey began creating dance, he drew upon his “blood memories” of Texas, the blues, spirituals and gospel as inspiration, which resulted in the creation of his most popular and critically acclaimed work-Revelations.
Although he created 79 ballets over his lifetime, Alvin Ailey maintained that his company was not exclusively a repository for his own work. Today, the company continues Mr. Ailey’s mission by presenting important works of the past and commissioning