What inspired Alvin Ailey to dance?

After seeing the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo perform, Ailey was inspired to pursue dancing. He began studying modern dance with Lester Horton in 1949.

What culture did Ailey draw inspiration from for his work?

Drawing on his childhood recollections of people, places, and experiences in and around his rural church—and using traditional African American blues, work songs, and spirituals as his musical inspiration—Ailey tells the story of African American faith and persistence from slavery to freedom.

What did Alvin Ailey believe about dance?

He believed that dance could and should reach everyone. He stood his ground, sometimes exasperatedly, in the face of criticism of his company’s theatricality. Everything in Mr. Ailey’s professional training was grist for the mill of his dance.

What was Alvin Ailey’s dance style?

Alvin Ailey didn’t create a specific dance technique. Rather, he blended elements of modern dance, ballet, jazz, hip-hop, and other styles. His dancers reflect this dance diversity in their varied training and talents.

Where did Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre have their first performance?

History. Alvin Ailey and a group of young Black modern dancers first performed at New York’s 92nd Street Young Men’s Hebrew Association (92nd Street Y), under the name Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater (AAADT), in March 1958. Ailey was the company’s director, choreographer, and principal dancer.


Videos

The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater at 60

Alvin Ailey’s The River

Ailey In Africa Part One: Outreach


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