Born on the 5th of January 1931, the man who
changed the face of modern dance forever. He was
born in a farming community in Rogers, Texas. When
he was twelve he and his mother moved to Los
Angeles. He had a difficult childhood. His mother
was always working or out at a club. Through these
hard times a wide range of dance genres, including
the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo and the Katherine
Dunham Dance Company, influenced him He enrolled
at the University of California at Los Angeles
It was then that he became involved with
the Lester Horton Dance Company. It was now 1949.
He studied under Horton for four years until
Hortons sudden death in 1953. Ailey was then made
director of the company until it disbanded in
1954. His Broadway debut was with Carmen de
Lavallade in the musical House of Flowers. He
moved to New York City in 1954. There he studied
acting under Stella Adler, and more importantly,
dance under Martha Graham, Hanya Holm, Charles
Weidman and others.
In 1958 he bravely founded his
own company. The Alvin Ailey American Dance
Theater. Their debut performance was on 92nd
street YMWHA. They toured widely in American and
abroad. The company consisted primarily of black
people. It started out with only seven members.
That number has now grown to well over any of Mr.
His signature piece is
Revelations, it is a powerful early work that is
set to American Negro spirituals. It is based on
his early recollections of a baptismal that he
paid witness to. He carried on choreographing for
his company and many others abroad. He passed away
on the 1st of December 1989 in New York. His
autobiography, Revelations, was published in 1994.
He will always be remembered as the American
dancer, choreographer and director of the Alvin
Ailey American Dance Theater..
Research essay sample on Biography Of Alvin Alley The Face Of Modern Dance