Alvin Ailey was an acclaimed dancer and choreographer who earned global recognition for his impact on modern dance. After honing his technique at the Lester Horton Dance Theater—and acting as its director until its 1954 disbandment—Ailey wished to choreograph his own ballets and works that differed from the traditional pieces of the time. This inspired him to start the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in 1958, a multiracial troupe that provided a platform for talented Black dancers and traveled around the world. His most popular piece, “Revelations,” is an ode to the Southern Black Church. Ailey died of an AIDS-related illness at 58, but the company still exists today in New York City.
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