Celebrating Alvin Ailey

“I’m trying to celebrate man’s achievements—the beauty of music, of shapes, of form, of color, light, texture. The idea of a person doing this with his body—the idea of freedom through discipline—is beautiful to me.”  Alvin Ailey, 1975

Eric N. Hong, photographer; hand coloring by Midori Fujioka. Alvin Ailey, founder of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation Collection, Music Division, Library of Congress (009.00.00) [Digital ID # aa0009.jpg]

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Early Years

Born in Rogers, Texas, on January 5, 1931, Alvin Ailey moved to Los Angeles at the age of twelve. During a junior high class trip to a performance of the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo, Ailey became captivated by concert dance. He was further inspired by performances of the Katherine Dunham Dance Company and classes with dancer and choreographer Lester Horton, at whose Hollywood studio Ailey began his formal dance training in the late 1940s. Horton, the founder of the first racially integrated dance company in the United States, became a mentor for Ailey as he commenced his professional career.

Jack Mitchell, photographer. Lester Horton Dance Theater members  (left to right): James Truitte, Joyce Trisler, Alvin Ailey, and Lelia Goldoni in Ailey’s first choreographic work, According to St. Francis, 1954. Lester Horton Dance Theater Collection, Music Division, Library of Congress. Photograph © Jack Mitchell (001.00.00) [Digital ID #aa0001.jpg]

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Ailey's Early Choreography

During 1953 and 1954, Ailey created four works for the Lester Horton Dance Theater: Afternoon Blues (1953); According to St. Francis (1954); La Creation du Monde (1954); and Mourning Morning (1954).

Photographer unknown. Members of the Lester Horton Dance Theater (left to right): Alvin Ailey, Misaye Kawasumi, Roland Goldwater, and Lelia Goldoni in an early Ailey work, La Creation du Monde, 1954. Lester Horton Dance Theater Collection, Music Division, Library of Congress (002.00.00) [Digital ID # aa0002.jpg]

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Lester Horton as Mentor

After Lester Horton died in 1953, Ailey became director of the Lester Horton Dance Theater for one year prior to moving to New York. Throughout his life, Ailey continued to draw inspiration from Horton’s dance technique.

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  • Alvin Ailey. Handwritten teaching notebook with notes on exercises based on the dance technique of Lester Horton, n.d. Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation Collection, Music Division, Library of Congress (006.00.00) [Digital ID # aa0006.jpg]

    This image used by permission of Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation, Inc.

  • Alvin Ailey. Handwritten teaching notebook with notes on exercises based on the dance technique of Lester Horton, n.d. Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation Collection, Music Division, Library of Congress (006.00.01) [Digital ID # aa0006_1.jpg]

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Early Inspiration

Ailey spent his formative years attending his Southern Baptist church and participating in the Baptist Young People’s Union. Experiences of life in the rural south would later inspire some of his most remarkable works, including Ailey’s first major ballet Blues Suite (1958), a study of anger, sadness, and humor that depicts life in the fields and saloons of the south, and the acclaimed masterpiece Revelations (1960).

Photographer unknown. Ailey in a studio portrait, 1955. Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation Collection, Music Division, Library of Congress (005.00.00) [Digital ID # aa0005.jpg]

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Carmen de Lavallade

At age 16, Carmen de Lavallade received a scholarship to study with Lester Horton, where she later met Alvin Ailey. During the 1960s de Lavallade was an important component in Ailey’s new company. When it made its first international tour in 1962, the company was billed as “de Lavallade-Ailey Dance Company.” In 2000, de Lavallade choreographed Sweet Bitter Love for AAADT.

Erick Smith, photographer. Carmen de Lavallade and Alvin Ailey in an early production of Blues Suite, ca. 1960. Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation Collection, Music Division, Library of Congress (013.00.00) [Digital ID # aa0013.jpg]

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Masazumi Chaya in Blues Suite

Born in Japan, Masazumi Chaya moved to New York in 1970 and joined the AAADT in 1972. In 1988 he became the Company’s rehearsal director. Chaya was named Associate Artistic Director of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in 1991.

Costas, photographer. Masazumi Chaya in Blues Suite, n.d. Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation Collection, Music Division, Library of Congress (029.00.00) [Digital ID # aa0029.jpg]

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Jennifer Muller’s Speeds

Choreographer Jennifer Muller’s created Speeds in 1974 for her company The Works. With its virtuosic dancing, Speeds quickly became a signature piece for Muller. Based on contrasts of tempi and dynamics, Speeds entered the Ailey repertory in 1987.

Jack Mitchell, photographer. Masazumi Chaya (bottom) and Ralph Glenmore in Jennifer Muller’s Speeds, 1974. Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation Collection, Music Division, Library of Congress. Photograph © Jack Mitchell (030.00.00) [Digital ID # aa0030.jpg]

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Revelations: Ailey’s Signature Work

Since its premier in 1960, the modern dance classic Revelations has been seen by more people worldwide than any other modern dance work. Ailey once noted: “Revelations began with the music. As early as I can remember I was enthralled by the music played and sung in the small black churches in every small Texas town my mother and I lived in. There we would absorb some of the most glorious singing to be heard anywhere in the world.”

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  • Photographer unknown. Alvin Ailey, Ella Thompson Moore, and Myrna White in Revelations, ca. 1960. Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation Collection, Music Division, Library of Congress (014.00.00) [Digital ID # aa0014.jpg]

    This image used by permission of Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation, Inc.

  • Photographer unknown. Alvin Ailey in Revelations, ca. 1960. Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation Collection, Music Division, Library of Congress (019.00.00) [Digital ID # aa0019.jpg]

    This image used by permission of Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation, Inc.

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Evolution of Revelations

When Revelations premiered on January 31, 1960, it was an hour-long work with sixteen sections. Two years later, for a tour of the Far East, Ailey reworked Revelations into a choreography of three-parts titled “Pilgrim of Sorrow,” “Take Me to the Water,” and “Move, Members, Move!”

Raimund Vogel and Hady Müller, photographers. Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in Revelations, n.d. Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation Collection, Music Division. Library of Congress (020.00.00) [Digital ID # aa0020.jpg]

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Early Critical Acclaim for Revelations

Critical response to the premiere of Revelations in 1960 was enthusiastic, and, by 1964, critics including P.W. Manchester were praising Revelations as “one of the great dance works of the day.” Today Revelations is utilized by Ailey Arts in Education and Community Programs to explore the life of Alvin Ailey as well as connecting students with their own life experiences.

Paul Kolnik, photographer. Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in Revelations, n.d. Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation Collection, Music Division, Library of Congress. Photograph © Paul Kolnik (021.00.00) [Digital ID # aa0021.jpg]

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Revelations as a Signature Work

Ten years after the premiere of Revelations, critic David Vaughan wrote: “The Ailey company without ‘Revelations’ is almost unthinkable.” After fifty years of successful performances, Revelations is still considered the company’s signature work.

Paul Kolnik, photographer. Briana Reed and Amos J. Machanic, Jr. in Revelations, 2000. Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation Collection, Music Division, Library of Congress. Photograph © Paul Kolnik (015.00.00) [Digital ID # aa0015.jpg]

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With Modern Dance Icon Ruth St. Denis

Ruth St. Denis (1879–1968) was one of the first pioneers of modern dance in America. Ailey choreographed a special dance in honor of the fiftieth wedding anniversary of Ruth St. Denis and Ted Shawn. The Twelve Gates premiered in 1964 at Jacob’s Pillow and featured dancers Carmen de Lavallade and James Truitte.

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  • Photographer unknown. Alvin Ailey and Carmen de Lavallade with the celebrated modern dancer Ruth St. Denis at Boston’s Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, n.d. Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation Collection, Music Division, Library of Congress (003.00.00) [Digital ID # aa0003.jpg]

    This image used by permission of Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation, Inc.

  • Photographer unknown. Alvin Ailey and Carmen de Lavallade with the celebrated modern dancer Ruth St. Denis at Boston’s Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, n.d. Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation Collection, Music Division, Library of Congress (004.00.00) [Digital ID # aa0004.jpg]

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Pas de Duke

In 1976 Ailey presented Pas de Duke, his modern dance interpretation of a classical pas de deux, honoring two of the most renowned dancers in the world—Judith Jamison and Mikhail Baryshnikov. The work was a part of a festival entitled “Ailey Celebrates Ellington,” featuring the Duke Ellington Orchestra.

Photographer unknown. Judith Jamison, Mikhail Baryshnikov, and Alvin Ailey, ca. 1976. Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation Collection, Music Division, Library of Congress (011.00.00) [Digital ID # aa0011.jpg]

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Ailey and the Legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.

Duke Ellington’s last composition, The Three Black Kings, was not finished before his death in 1974. For the posthumous Lincoln Center premier in 1976, Ellington’s son, Mercer Ellington, completed the score and Alvin Ailey created the choreography. The title refers to three important African American historical figures: King Balthazar, King Solomon, and civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. King’s widow, Coretta Scott King, introduced Ailey’s Three Black Kings when it premiered at the Lincoln Center festival celebrating Duke Ellington held in August 1976.

Susan Cook, photographer. Alvin Ailey with Coretta Scott King, 1977. Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation Collection, Music Division, Library of Congress (012.00.00) [Digital ID # aa0012.jpg]

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Ailey and John Travolta

Although Ailey was known as a very private person, his circle of friends included colleagues from the music, theater, and dance communities, and Hollywood.

Mario Ruiz, photographer. Alvin Ailey with John Travolta, 1978. Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation Collection, Music Division, Library of Congress (010.00.00) [Digital ID # aa0010.jpg]

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Streams: Ailey’s First Plotless Dance

Premiering in April 1970, Streams, set to a percussion score by Miloslav Kabelac, was Ailey’s first full-length dance without a plot. Dance historian Thomas F. De Frantz has noted that Streams is a “compressed layered arrangement of fragments taken from a long movement phrase [that] explores the architecture of bodies in space.”

Fred Fehl, photographer. Clover Mathis, Hector Mercado, Christa Mueller, Kenneth Pearl, Estelle Spurlock, Clive Thompson, Dudley Williams, and Sara Yarborough in Ailey’s Streams, n.d. Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation Collection, Music Division, Library of Congress. Courtesy of Gabriel Pinski (024.00.00) [Digital ID # aa0024.jpg]

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Ailey’s Ballet-Inspired Choreography

To showcase AAADT’s balletic abilities, this lyrical dance was set to Ralph Vaughan Williams’s (1872–1958) 1914 composition, “The Lark Ascending.” Vaughan Williams noted that the lark represented the heart’s rapture and the soul’s aspiration. Inspired by a poem by the Victorian writer George Meredith, it is said that Vaughan Williams wrote sketches for this work while watching troop ships cross the English Channel at the beginning of World War I.

Bill Hilton, photographer. Sara Yarborough and Clive Thompson in Ailey’s The Lark Ascending, 1972. Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation Collection, Music Division, Library of Congress. Courtesy of Bill Hilton (025.00.00) [Digital ID # aa0025.jpg]

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Night Creature

Night Creature was created for the CBS television series “Festival of Lively Arts for Young People,” in a program that featured six Ailey dances choreographed especially for the dancers of the Alvin Ailey Repertory Workshop to the music of Duke Ellington. The program was first telecast on November 28, 1974. In commenting on the title of his composition, Duke Ellington said, “Night creatures, unlike stars, do not come OUT at night—they come ON, each thinking that before the night is out, he or she will be the star.”

Bill Hilton, photographer. AAADT in Ailey’s Night Creature, n.d. Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation Collection, Music Division, Library of Congress. Courtesy of Bill Hilton (026.00.00) [Digital ID # aa0026.jpg]

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The Mooche

The Mooche was created for the CBS television series “Festival of Lively Arts for Young People,” in a program that featured six Ailey dances choreographed especially for the dancers of the Alvin Ailey Repertory Workshop. The program was first telecast on November 28, 1974. Choreographed to music by Duke Ellington, Ailey dedicated the work to performers Florence Mills, Marie Bryant, Mahalia Jackson, and Bessie Smith.

Johan Elbers, photographer. Judith Jamison in Ailey’s The Mooche, n.d. Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation Collection, Music Division, Library of Congress (023.00.00) [Digital ID # aa0023.jpg]

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Memoria: Ailey Celebrates the Life of Joyce Trisler

Choreographed in 1979 in memory of his dancer/choreographer friend from his Lester Horton days, Ailey noted that the work was “dedicated to the joy . . . the beauty . . . the creativity . . . and the wild spirit of my friend Joyce Trisler.”

Kenn Duncan, photographer. Maxine Sherman in Ailey’s Memoria, n.d. Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation Collection, Music Division, Library of Congress (022.00.00) [Digital ID # aa0022.jpg]

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Charlie Parker, Legendary Saxophonist

Set in a jazz club, the For Bird—With Love is a tribute to Charlie Parker, the legendary saxophonist and premiered on October 6, 1984, in Kansas City. The impressive production elements for this work included numerous curtain drops and scrims, projections, and several costume changes for the thirteen dancers.

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  • Photographer unknown. AAADT in Ailey’s For Bird—With Love, ca. 1984. Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation Collection, Music Division, Library of Congress (027.00.00) [Digital ID # aa0027.jpg]

    This image used by permission of Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation, Inc.

  • Jack Mitchell, photographer. Gary DeLoatch in Ailey’s For Bird—With Love (1984). Poster. Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation Collection, Music Division, Library of Congress Photograph © Jack Mitchell (062.00.00) [Digital ID # aa0062.jpg]

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Choreographic Inspiration from Katherine Dunham

Throughout his life, one of Ailey’s major choreographic inspirations was the work of dancer, choreographer, writer, and anthropologist Katherine Dunham (1909–2006). Ailey first saw Katherine Dunham dance in Tropical Revue, while it was on tour in Los Angeles in 1945. In 1987, AAADT performed a program of Dunham works called The Magic of Katherine Dunham. The program consisted of Dunham dances created between 1937 and 1950, including several of her signature works L’Ag’ya, Choros, Los Indios, Barrelhouse, and Shango. Dunham’s dance technique has been a staple of The Ailey School since its inception.

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  • The Magic of Katherine Dunham, 1987. Poster. Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation Collection, Music Division, Library of Congress (007.00.00) [Digital ID # aa0007.jpg]

    This image used by permission of Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation, Inc.

  • Coreen Simpson, photographer. Alvin Ailey with Katherine Dunham, n.d. Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation Collection, Music Division, Library of Congress. Photograph © Coreen Simpson (008.00.00) [Digital ID # aa0008.jpg]

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AAADT Performs Louis Johnson’s Fontessa and Friends

Louis Johnson (b. 1931) designed the costumes and created the choreography for the 1981 production of his Fontessa and Friends for AAADT. Johnson originally studied dance and appeared with the New York City Ballet in Jerome Robbins’s Ballade (1952) and in numerous Broadway productions, including House of Flowers, Hallelujah Baby, and both the stage (1955) and film (1958) versions of Bob Fosse’s Damn Yankees.

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  • Louis Johnson, costume designer. Design for the Chorus Boys in Fontessa and Friends, ca. 1981. Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation Collection, Music Division, Library of Congress. Courtesy of Louis Johnson (036.00.00) [Digital ID # aa0036.jpg]

    This image used by permission of Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation, Inc.

  • Jack Vartoogian, photographer. Men from AAADT as Chorus Boys in Louis Johnson’s Fontessa and Friends, ca. 1981. Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation Collection, Music Division, Library of Congress. Photograph © Jack Vartoogian/FrontRowPhotos (037.00.00) [Digital ID # aa0037.jpg]

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Louis Johnson’s Fontessa and Friends

Louis Johnson created works for the Dance Theater of Harlem, AAADT, as well as choreographies for Broadway, including Purlie, a musical version of Ossie Davis’s Purlie Victorious, for which Johnson was nominated for a Tony award. Johnson also created the dances for the films Cotton Comes to Harlem (1970) and The Wiz (1978).

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  • Louis Johnson, costume designer. Design for the character Ragtime in Fontessa and Friends, ca. 1981. Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation Collection, Music Division, Library of Congress. Courtesy of Louis Johnson (040.00.00) [Digital ID # aa0040.jpg]

    This image used by permission of Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation, Inc.

  • Jack Mitchell, photographer. Desmond Richardson as Ragtime in Louis Johnson’ s Fontessa and Friends, ca. 1981. Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation Collection, Music Division, Library of  Congress. Photograph © Jack Mitchell (041.00.00) [Digital ID # aa0041.jpg]

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“A Glorious Mess of a Piece”: Fontessa and Friends

In 1982, New York Times dance critic Jennifer Dunning reviewed AAADT’s new production by Louis Johnson: “Fontessa and Friends is a glorious mess of a piece, jammed with ballet jokes, nutty characters, and one of the funniest pas de deux in dance. Set to a stew of composers from Khachaturian to the Modern Jazz Quartet, the dance takes the glamorous, haughty Fontessa, played with gusto by Donna Wood, through a series of encounters with beruffled, scantily clad clowns, two lyrical lovers, a madcap master of ceremonies and a muscle-rippling hunk of manhood who teaches her to be a woman.”

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  • Louis Johnson, costume designer.  Design for Fontessa in Fontessa and Friends, 1981. Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation Collection, Music Division, Library of Congress.  Courtesy of Louis Johnson (038.00.00) [Digital ID # aa0038.jpg]

    This image used by permission of Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation, Inc.

  • Bill Hilton, photographer. Donna Wood as Fontessa and Gary DeLoatch as Ragtime in Louis Johnson’s Fontessa and Friends, ca. 1981. Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation Collection, Music Division, Library of Congress. Courtesy of Bill Hilton (039.00.00) [Digital ID # aa0039.jpg]

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Jim Morrison and Jimi Hendrix: Influences for Au Bord du Precipice

Inspired by the lives of Jim Morrison and Jimi Hendrix, two popular music icons who died in the 1970s, Au Bord du Precipice (1983) was set to the score  “As Falls Wichita, So Falls Wichita Falls” by Pat Metheny and Lyle Mayes. Later, the work was retitled Precipice.

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  • Carol Vollet (Garner) Kingston, costume designer. Design for Ailey’s Au Bord du Precipice, created for the Paris Opera Ballet, ca. 1983. Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation Collection, Music Division, Library of Congress (042.00.00) [Digital ID # aa0042.jpg]

    This image used by permission of Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation, Inc.

  • Rodolphe Torette, photographer. The Paris Opera Ballet’s principal dancer Patrick Dupond in Ailey’s Au Bord du Precipice. Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation Collection, Music Division, Library of Congress (043.00.00) [Digital ID # aa0043.jpg]

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Ailey Dedicates a Work to “Black women everywhere, especially our mothers”

After making her New York debut with American Ballet Theater in 1964, Judith Jamison joined AAADT in 1965. The collaboration between Ailey and Jamison was nothing less than magical and, in 1971, Ailey created Cry for Jamison, one of his most enduring works.

R. Faligant. Judith Jamison in Cry, n.d. Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation Collection, Music Division, Library of Congress (028.00.00) [Digital ID # aa0028.jpg]

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Jamison Receives the Kennedy Center Honor

After Ailey’s death in 1989, Jamison was named Artistic Director of AAADT. During her tenure, she has provided strong leadership for AAADT, ensuring its legacy as one of the most acclaimed international ambassadors of American Culture.

Official White House photograph, 1999. AAADT’s Artistic Director, Judith Jamison, receives the Kennedy Center Honor from President Bill Clinton. Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation Collection, Music Division, Library of Congress (032.00.00) [Digital ID # aa0032.jpg]

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Judith Jamison: Choreographer

Jamison is a highly respected choreographer, and her works for AAADT include Divining (1984), Rift (1991), Sweet Release (1996), Hymn (1993), and Reminiscin’  (2005). She choreographed Double Exposure for the Lincoln Center Festival (2000) and Here . . . Now for the 2002 Cultural Olympiad in Salt Lake City.

Paul Kolnik, photographer. Clifton Brown in Love Stories, choreographed by Judith Jamison with Robert Battle and Rennie Harris in 2004. Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation Collection, Music Division, Library of Congress. Photograph © Paul Kolnik (031.00.00) [Digital ID # aa0031.jpg]

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Hans van Manen’s Solo

Performed to music by Johann Sebastian Bach, Hans van Manen’s Solo is actually a virtuosic dance for three men. Born in 1932, van Manen is a popular Dutch choreographer who has staged his ballets world-wide, including for the Stuttgart Ballet, Houston Ballet, National Ballet of Canada, Pennsylvania Ballet, and the Royal Danish Ballet.

Andrew Eccles, photographer. Glenn Allen Sims in Hans van Manen’s Solo, 2005. Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation Collection, Music Division, Library of Congress. Photograph © Andrew Eccles (033.00.00) [Digital ID # aa0033.jpg]

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Geoffrey Holder’s The Prodigal Prince

Geoffrey Holder not only created the choreography for AAADT’s The Prodigal Prince (1968), he designed the production and composed the music. The Prodigal Prince is a work based on the life of Haitian primitive painter, Hector Hyppolite.

Paul Kolnik, photographer. Richard Witter in Geoffrey Holder’s The Prodigal Prince, 1968. Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation Collection, Music Division, Library of Congress. Photograph © Paul Kolnik (035.00.00) [Digital ID # aa0035.jpg]

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Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater on Tour

AAADT has often been used by the U.S. State Department as a cultural ambassador, beginning with a 1962 tour of the Far East, South East Asia, and Australia as part of John F. Kennedy’s “President’s Special International Program for Cultural Presentations.” Since its founding, Ailey’s company has been seen by over twenty-one million people in forty-eight states and seventy-one countries on six continents.

Fifth Annual Formosa (Taiwan) Arts Festival (1990). Poster. Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation Collection, Music Division, Library of Congress (063.00.00) [Digital ID # aa0063.jpg]

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AAADT Delights Audiences

On the occasion of AAADT’s twenty-fifth anniversary in 1983, Ailey noted, “I wanted to explore black culture and I wanted that culture to be a revelation.” This revelation has delighted audiences all over the world. Dance critic Don McDonagh once speculated whether “it matters [not]

what the company is doing as long as it promises not to stop.”

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  • Selected programs from international and national productions. Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation Collection, Music Division, Library of Congress (045.00.00) [Digital ID # aa0045.jpg]

    This image used by permission of Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation, Inc.

  • Selected programs from international and national productions. Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation Collection, Music Division, Library of Congress (046.00.00) [Digital ID # aa0046.jpg]

    This image used by permission of Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation, Inc.

  • Selected programs from international and national productions. Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation Collection, Music Division, Library of Congress (048.00.00) [Digital ID # aa0048]

    This image used by permission of Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation, Inc.

  • Selected programs from international and national productions. Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation Collection, Music Division, Library of Congress (049.00.00) [Digital ID # aa0049]

    This image used by permission of Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation, Inc.

  • Selected programs from international and national productions. Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation Collection, Music Division, Library of Congress (050.00.00) [Digital ID # aa0050-52]

    This image used by permission of Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation, Inc.

  • Selected programs from international and national productions. Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation Collection, Music Division, Library of Congress (051.00.00) [Digital ID # aa0050-52]

    This image used by permission of Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation, Inc.

  • Selected programs from international and national productions. Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation Collection, Music Division, Library of Congress (052.00.00) [Digital ID # aa0050-52]

    This image used by permission of Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation, Inc.

  • Selected programs from international and national productions. Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation Collection, Music Division, Library of Congress (054.00.00) [Digital ID # aa0054]

    This image used by permission of Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation, Inc.

  • Selected programs from international and national productions. Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation Collection, Music Division, Library of Congress (056.00.00) [Digital ID # aa0056]

    This image used by permission of Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation, Inc.

  • Selected programs from international and national productions. Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation Collection, Music Division, Library of Congress (057.00.00) [Digital ID # aa0057]

    This image used by permission of Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation, Inc.

  • Selected programs from international and national productions. Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation Collection, Music Division, Library of Congress (060.00.00) [Digital ID # aa0060]

    This image used by permission of Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation, Inc.

  • Selected programs from international and national productions. Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation Collection, Music Division, Library of Congress (061.00.00) [Digital ID # aa0061]

    This image used by permission of Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation, Inc.

Bookmark this item: http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/alvin-ailey-american-dance-theater/exhibition-items.html#obj33

AAADT at Fifty

Since its first performances in 1958, the Ailey company has grown from a small modern dance company into a large multiracial organization that has become a household word throughout the world. During 2008 and 2009, AAADT celebrated its fiftieth anniversary. Highlights included exhibitions at the Library of Congress, Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival; a gala opening at the Kennedy Center; a twenty-six-city tour; and a spring 2009 season at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.

Andrew Eccles, photographer.Studio portrait of Jamar Roberts, Amos J. Machanic, Jr., and Olivia Brown, n.d. Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation Collection, Music Division, Library of  Congress. Photograph © Andrew Eccles (034.00.00) [Digital ID # aa0034.jpg]

This image used by permission of Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation, Inc.

Bookmark this item: http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/alvin-ailey-american-dance-theater/exhibition-items.html#obj34

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