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Alvin Ailey

(b Rogers, Tex., 5 Jan. 1931; d New York, 1 Dec. 1989) US dancer, choreographer, and director. He studied in Los Angeles with Horton and later with Graham, Holm, and Weidman in ...

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater   Reference library

Encyclopedia of African American History 1896 to the Present

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2009
Subject:
History, Regional and National History
Length:
611 words
Illustration(s):
1

...performed in forty-eight states, seventy-one countries, and six continents for an estimated 21 million people. [ See also Ailey, Alvin ; Choreographers ; Dance ; and Jamison, Judith .] Bibliography Ailey, Alvin , and A. Peter Bailey . Revelations: The Autobiography of Alvin Ailey . Secaucus, N.J.: Carol Publishing, 1995. DeFrantz, Thomas . Dancing Revelations: Alvin Ailey's Embodiment of African American Culture . New York: Oxford University Press, 2004. Jamison, Judith , and Howard Kaplan . Dancing Spirit: An Autobiography . New York: Doubleday,...

DeLavallade, Carmen

DeLavallade, Carmen (6 March 1931)   Reference library

Black Women in America (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2005
Subject:
History, Regional and National History
Length:
838 words
Illustration(s):
1

...the Complexions dance company and as part of the trio Paradigm, with Dudley Williams and Gus Solomons Jr. , into the twenty-first century. Bibliography Ailey, Alvin , with A. Peter Bailey . Revelations: The Autobiography of Alvin Ailey . Secaucus, NJ: Carol, 1995. Cohen, Selma Jeanne , ed. International Encyclopedia of Dance . New York: Oxford University Press, 1998. Dunning, Jennifer . Alvin Ailey: A Life in Dance . Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley, 1996. Moritz, Charles , ed. Current Biography Yearbook 1967 . New York: H. W. Wilson, 1967. Robert W....

Jamison, Judith

Jamison, Judith (10 May 1943)   Reference library

Black Women in America (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2005
Subject:
History, Regional and National History
Length:
867 words
Illustration(s):
1

...’s The Four Marys . One year later, Jamison accepted an offer to join the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. She served as principle dancer for the company for fifteen years, during which time she earned a reputation for her passionate and emotionally charged performances. Although Jamison earned high praise for many of her performances, the fifteen-minute solo “Cry” stands as her most famous piece. Still performed today, “Cry” was originally choreographed for Jamison by Ailey himself as a tribute to African American women. Although Jamison has always...

Choreographers

Choreographers   Reference library

Encyclopedia of African American History 1896 to the Present

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2009
Subject:
History, Regional and National History
Length:
2,084 words
Illustration(s):
1

... Alvin Ailey ( 1931–1989 ) experienced more than most the racial and social battles for artistic opportunity and expression. Under Ailey's direction, modern dance became a popular art form, and theater seats were filled with racially and economically mixed audiences. In the late 1950s Ailey founded the Alvin Ailey American Dance Company, known for its physical daring and for the choreographer's humanistic visions; the company toured internationally and always met with great enthusiasm. In the troupe's signature celebrated pieces Ailey drew from...

Dancers and Choreographers, Modern

Dancers and Choreographers, Modern   Reference library

Black Women in America (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2005
Subject:
History, Regional and National History
Length:
3,963 words
Illustration(s):
5

...her death in 1989 , she taught at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Center and at New York University. Carmen DeLavallade was an exponent of the west coast modern dance pioneer, Lester Horton , whose Los Angeles school nurtured other African American dancers such as Alvin Ailey and James Truitte . After moving to New York together, she and Ailey performed in the groundbreaking, all-black musical House of Flowers in 1954 . Her distinguished career included performing in the companies of John Butler , Alvin Ailey, Donald McKayle , and also in works by...

Graham, Martha

Graham, Martha (1894–1991)   Reference library

The Oxford Encyclopedia of Women in World History

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2008
Subject:
History
Length:
658 words
Illustration(s):
1

...Graham and on Broadway . Pittsburgh, Pa.: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1997. An account of the dramatic, personal influence of Graham by one of her first students and company members. Foulkes, Julia L. Modern Bodies: Dance and American Modernism from Martha Graham to Alvin Ailey . Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2002. An analysis of the impact of Graham within the larger movement of modern dance and modernism. Graham, Martha . Blood Memory: An Autobiography . New York: Doubleday, 1991. An engaging, if unreliable, look at the...

Gordon, Dexter

Gordon, Dexter (b. 27 February 1923)   Reference library

Encyclopedia of African American History 1896 to the Present

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2009
Subject:
History, Regional and National History
Length:
614 words
Illustration(s):
1

...had played alto in the Les Hite Orchestra—a popular West Coast band in the 1930s—and also taught Charles Mingus Jr. , Eric Dolphy , and Buddy Collette . While a senior at Jefferson High School, known for its band director, Sam Browne , and its graduates Chico Hamilton , Alvin Ailey , and Dorothy Dandridge , Gordon joined the Lionel Hampton Orchestra, touring the United States with fellow band members Illinois Jacquet , Joe Newman , and Marshall Royal . During his six-month residency at the Grand Terrace in Chicago in 1941 , radio broadcasts became...

Dance

Dance   Reference library

Encyclopedia of African American History 1896 to the Present

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2009
Subject:
History, Regional and National History
Length:
5,454 words
Illustration(s):
2

...1946. AP Images Alvin Ailey Continuing the drive for social justice through the use of dance, the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, founded in 1958 in the harsh anticommunist atmosphere of waning McCarthyism, further opened the door for blacks, particularly in the modern dance theater. Early in modern dance, and prior to the establishment of the Ailey company, some white companies—such as those of Martha Graham and Lester Horton , in which Ailey studied and performed—enlisted an occasional “Negro” dancer of outstanding quality. Ailey's company was...

Bearden, Romare

Bearden, Romare (b. 2 September 1911)   Reference library

Encyclopedia of African American History 1896 to the Present

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2009
Subject:
History, Regional and National History
Length:
1,582 words
Illustration(s):
1

...including William Henry Johnson , Joseph Delaney , and Eldzier Cortor . Bearden remained friends with an elite group of artists and literati, including Langston Hughes , James Baldwin , Stuart Davis , Duke Ellington , Ralph Ellison , Joan Miró , George Grosz , Alvin Ailey , and Jacob Lawrence . After experimenting with abstraction, Bearden became best known for his collages, which he developed in his apartment in New York by cutting up old magazines. These collages were some of the most poignant studies of African American identity and...

Dunham, Katherine

Dunham, Katherine (b. 22 June 1909)   Reference library

Encyclopedia of African American History 1896 to the Present

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2009
Subject:
History, Regional and National History
Length:
1,035 words
Illustration(s):
1

...of literature, philosophy, languages, aesthetics, drama, and speech. She influenced future generations of dancers though her own students, including Syvilla Fort , Talley Beatty , Lavinia Williams , Walter Nicks , Hope Clark , Vanoye Aikens , and Carmencita Romero . Alvin Ailey and his successors have also continued her tradition, teaching the Dunham technique. Dunham was always a strong civil rights activist, filing lawsuits against segregation and refusing to replace her darker dancers, thereby losing a Hollywood contract. She forced the president...

Joyner, Florence Griffith

Joyner, Florence Griffith (21 December 1959)   Reference library

Black Women in America (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2005
Subject:
History, Regional and National History
Length:
956 words
Illustration(s):
1

...parts of California there are Florence Griffith Joyner parks, statues, and other memorials. At the Winter Games in Salt Lake in 2002 , she was fittingly memorialized in a tribute to selfless athleticism and female heroism in a one-act jazz suite by Judith Jamison of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, performed to the musical score of Wynton Marsalis , at the opening arts component of the Games. It was a fitting tribute to one who dared to be the best. See also Olympic Games and Amateur Sports, Participation in ; Sports ; and Track and Field ....

Dunham, Katherine

Dunham, Katherine (22 June 1909)   Reference library

Black Women in America (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2005
Subject:
History, Regional and National History
Length:
2,407 words
Illustration(s):
1

...favored ensemble over solo dancing, Katherine Dunham was an extremely popular and critically acclaimed performer. In Europe hat styles and spring fashion collections were named the Dunham line and Caribbean Rhapsody ; the Chiroteque Française made a bronze cast of her feet. Alvin Ailey commented that the interior meaning of his work Masekela Language is that all of the women represent Katherine Dunham in some aspect of her performance. She has received numerous awards and honors for her work in dance, theater, and community service. Dunham’s social...

Ballet

Ballet   Reference library

Claude Conyers

The Grove Dictionary of American Music (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2013
Subject:
Music, Social sciences, Regional and Area Studies
Length:
2,865 words
Illustration(s):
1

...thus emphasizing its original stated aim. It continued to expand its repertory of masterworks by Balanchine , Fokine , Antony Tudor , Birgit Cullberg , Robbins , and de Mille by adding works by younger choreographers, including the Americans alvin Ailey , twyla Tharp , and mark Morris . Ailey's The River ( 1970 ; music by Duke Ellington ), Tharp's Push Comes to Shove ( 1976 ), and Morris's Drink to Me Only with Thine Eyes ( 1988 ; music by Thompson) were significant additions. Under the direction of Kevin McKenzie since 1992 , the...

Williams, Mary Lou

Williams, Mary Lou (10 May 1910)   Reference library

Tammy L. Kernodle

The Grove Dictionary of American Music (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2013
Subject:
Music, Social sciences, Regional and Area Studies
Length:
1,547 words
Illustration(s):
1

...Mass ( 1966 ), Mass for Lenten Season ( 1968 ), and Mass for Peace and Justice ( 1969 ), her magnum opus commissioned by the Vatican. In 1970 she re-scored this last work, adding new movements and renaming the work Mary Lou's Mass . That same year the choreographer Alvin Ailey created a series of dances to selected movements of the mass and toured the work as Mary Lou's Mass . This composition became central to Williams's public music making throughout the remainder of her life and it became associated with a larger movement within the Catholic...

Ballet and Dance

Ballet and Dance   Reference library

Oxford Encyclopedia of the Modern World

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2008
Subject:
History, Contemporary History (post 1945)
Length:
1,402 words
Illustration(s):
1

...mentors and asserted their ownnew inventions in choreography and movement in the mid-1900s. Merce Cunningham ( b. 1919 ), Erick Hawkins ( 1909–1994 ), José Limón ( 1908–1972 ), Anna Sokolow ( 1910–2000 ), Alwin Nikolais ( 1910–1993 ), Paul Taylor ( b. 1930 ), and Alvin Ailey ( 1931–1989 ) in turn paved the way for choreographic greats of the Judson Church—referring to the Judson Street Church in New York, where many performances and other happenings occurred—and the postmodern era's Yvonne Rainer ( b. 1934 ), Trisha Brown ( b. 1936 ), Douglas...

Entertainment Industry and African Americans

Entertainment Industry and African Americans   Reference library

Encyclopedia of African American History 1896 to the Present

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2009
Subject:
History, Regional and National History
Length:
3,935 words
Illustration(s):
1

...the Katherine Dunham Company—which toured the United States and Europe for three decades. Pearl Primus, who traveled frequently to Africa to incorporate African styles into her choreography, began another important company with a school in New Rochelle, New York. But the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, founded in 1958 , has performed more ballets choreographed by African Americans—more than 150 before 1988—and employed more dancers than any other. The Dance Theatre of Harlem, founded in 1969 by Arthur Mitchell , performed classical and modern...

Dance

Dance   Reference library

The Oxford Encyclopedia of Women in World History

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2008
Subject:
History
Length:
4,621 words
Illustration(s):
1

...Brown , Lucinda Childs , Laura Dean , Simone Forti , and Deborah Hay , most of whom performed at Judson Church in New York. Each of these artists explored distinct choreographic methods for their work. Judith Jamison , a muse to Alvin Ailey , became a choreographer in her own right and has directed the Alvin Ailey American Dance Company since 1990 . Twyla Tharp , though of the same generation as the Judson artists, went her own way, creating choreography for a relaxed upper body and fiercely energized limbs. Drawing on popular dance forms and...

Jazz

Jazz   Reference library

Black Women in America (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2005
Subject:
History, Regional and National History
Length:
11,181 words
Illustration(s):
2

...Brown from 1989 to 1995 . As a singer she performed with the Schola Cantorum Camarata Singers and the American Opera Society and sang backup for Della Reese , Patti Page , and Quincy Jones . From 1971 to 1984 she sang in the chorus and played in the orchestra of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. As a teacher she directed the choir at Medgar Evers College, taught guitar at Hunter College, and taught a singing course in the blues at the New School in New York City. Patrice Rushen ( 1954 - ) was a session musician, rhythm and blues star,...

New York

New York   Reference library

Irving Kolodin, Francis D. Perkins, Susan Thiemann Sommer, Zdravko Blažeković, Irving Kolodin, Francis D. Perkins, Susan Thiemann Sommer, Zdravko Blažeković, John Shepard, Sara Velez, Irving Kolodin, Francis D. Perkins, Susan Thiemann Sommer, Zdravko Blažeković, John Shepard, Sara Velez, Irving Kolodin, Francis D. Perkins, Susan Thiemann Sommer, Zdravko Blažeković, John Shepard, Sara Velez, Joseph Horowitz, Irving Kolodin, Francis D. Perkins, Susan Thiemann Sommer, Zdravko Blažeković, Irving Kolodin, Francis D. Perkins, Susan Thiemann Sommer, Zdravko Blažeković, Irving Kolodin, Francis D. Perkins, Susan Thiemann Sommer, Zdravko Blažeković, John Rockwell, Zdravko Blažeković, Edward A. Berlin, J. Bradford Robinson, John Rockwell, Zdravko Blažeković, Will Fulton, Evan Rapport, Irving Kolodin, Francis D. Perkins, Susan Thiemann Sommer, Zdravko Blažeković, John Shepard, Nina Davis-Millis, Jonas Westover, Irving Kolodin, Francis D. Perkins, Susan Thiemann Sommer, Zdravko Blažeković, Irving Kolodin, Francis D. Perkins, Susan Thiemann Sommer, Zdravko Blažeković, John Rockwell, Paul Griffiths, Jonas Westover, Irving Kolodin, Francis D. Perkins, Susan Thiemann Sommer, Zdravko Blažeković, Jonas Westover, Irving Kolodin, Francis D. Perkins, Susan Thiemann Sommer, and Zdravko Blažeković

The Grove Dictionary of American Music (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2013
Subject:
Music, Social sciences, Regional and Area Studies
Length:
22,304 words
Illustration(s):
2

...attractions. Dance also plays a vital part in New York's musical-theatrical life. Among the most prominent of the almost 100 dance companies in the city are the New York City Ballet (founded 1948 ), the Ballet Theatre ( 1939 ; renamed the American Ballet Theatre, 1956 ), the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater ( 1958 ), the Martha Graham Dance Company ( 1926 ), and the Paul Taylor Dance Company ( 1961 ). 5. Orchestras and bands. Amateur instrumental ensembles can be documented in New York at least as early as the 1770s. The St. Cecilia and Harmonical Societies...

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