Alvin Ailey

A man ahead of his time

A leading man

Alvin Ailey, a second generation african-american choreographer, originally from Texas, USA. Founder of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in New York City. He was born january 5th, 1931 and died december 1st, 1989

Ailey became one of the leading figures in 20th century modern dance.

The roots of a great past


Ailey left Texas at the age of 12 to go to Los Angeles, Ailey proved to be a gifted sport star who also was well achieved in languages. Ailey was inspired to pursue dancing after he first saw Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo perform. He study dance at Lester Horton, one of the 1st generation choreographers in 1949, and joined Horton's company the following year.

A man of culture

Ailey was well known for his multi-racial dance ensemble, which envoked talk about the modern dance all over the world due to tours. Most of aileys works are based upon a spiritual connection, His most famous dance is “Revelations”, a celebratory study of religious spirit which drew inspiration from the African American music of his youth. Ailey achieved his greatest fame with his own dance company, which he founded in 1958. That same year, he debuted Blues Suite, a piece that drew from his southern roots.
Alvin Ailey's Revelations

The Reviews

" "Revelations," Alvin Ailey's great masterpiece of modern American dance, played to predictably packed and cheering houses at Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall on Tuesday and Wednesday, closing two white bird programs that were both a celebration of that iconic dance's 50th anniversary and a tribute to Ailey's successor, Judith Jamison." - Catherine Thomas.

"The late Alvin Ailey was a disciple of Lester Horton, and the Horton Technique’s emphasis of clean extensions and a holistic awareness of oneself greatly influenced his pupil. Horton was a pioneer in that his company was one of the first to be racially integrated, incorporated Native American folk movements and helped popularize modern dance on the West Coast. Likewise, Ailey preserved African-American traditions and produced a unique niche within modern dance."- Karishma B. Desai.

A generations apraisle

Alvin Ailey was and still is considered to be on of the most influential modern dance choreographers of all time. He has shaped multicultural dance in so many way and it has spread throughout the world. Ailey's work continues to inspire today and further shape dance as we know it, The Alvin Ailey Dance Company is still running in New York and is a leading school on modern dance.