Alvin Ailey

Alvin Ailey

Dancer, choreographer
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Alvin Ailey

Alvin Ailey (January 5, 1931 – December 1, 1989) was an African-American dancer, director, choreographer, and activist who founded the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, one of the most successful dance companies in the world. He created AAADT and its affiliated Ailey School as havens for nurturing black artists and expressing the universality of the African-American experience through dance. His work fused theatre, modern dance, ballet, and jazz with black vernacular, creating hope-fueled choreography that continues to spread global awareness of black life in America. Ailey's choreographic masterpiece Revelations is recognized as one of the most popular and most performed ballets in the world. In this work he blended primitive, modern and jazz elements of dance with a concern for black rural America. On July 15, 2008, the United States Congress passed a resolution designating AAADT a “vital American cultural ambassador to the World.” That same year, in recognition of AAADT's 50th anniversary, then Mayor Michael Bloomberg declared December 4 "Alvin Ailey Day" in New York City while then Governor David Paterson honoured the organization on behalf of New York State.

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Full name at birth
Alvin Ailey, Jr.
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Claim to fame
Founded the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre and won international fame as both a dancer and choreographer.
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Date of birth
5 January 1931
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Place of birth
Rogers, Texas, USA
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Date of death
1 December 1989
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Place of death
New York City, New York, USA
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Cause of death
Aids (related complications)
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Occupation
Dancer, choreographer
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ADDITIONAL DETAILS

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University
  • University of California, CA
  • San Francisco State College, CA
  • Ucla, Ca
  • Berkeley, CA
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