Alvin Ailey

Alvin Ailey Jr. was an American modern dancer and choreographer who founded the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in New York City. Born in Rogers, Texas, Alvin Ailey was introduced to dance by performances of the Katherine Dunham Dance Company and the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo. His formal training in dance began with an introduction to Lester Horton’s classes by his friend, Carmen de Lavallade.

When 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, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater continues to thrive under the leadership of Ailey’s dear friend, Artistic Director, Judith Jamison.