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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 ...

Ailey, Alvin

Ailey, Alvin (b. 5 January 1931)   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:
559 words

...principal dancer Judith Jamison , in the twenty-first century the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater continues to devote itself to both the performance of modern dance classics and the encouragement of young artists. [ See also Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater ; Choreographers ; Dance ; and Jamison, Judith .] Bibliography Ailey, Alvin , and A. Peter Bailey . Revelations: The Autobiography of Alvin Ailey . Secaucus, N.J.: Carol Publishing Group, 1995. Dunning, Jennifer . Alvin Ailey: A Life in Dance . Reading, Mass.: Addison-Wesley, 1996. — Candace...

Ailey, Alvin

Ailey, Alvin (1931–89)   Quick reference

World Encyclopedia

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2004
Subject:
Encyclopedias
Length:
61 words

..., Alvin ( 1931–89 ) US modern dancer and choreographer . Ailey studied dance with Martha Graham . In 1958 he formed the American Dance Theater and acted as its artistic director ( 1958–89 ). The company introduced many leading African-American and Asian dancers to worldwide audiences. His works, such as Roots of the Blues ( 1961 ), incorporate elements of jazz, African and modern dance...

Ailey, Alvin

Ailey, Alvin (5 Jan. 1931)   Reference library

The Continuum Companion to Twentieth Century Theatre

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2010
Subject:
Performing arts, Theatre
Length:
168 words

..., Alvin (b. Rogers, Tex. , 5 Jan. 1931 ; d. New York , 1 Dec. 1989 ) The most famous African American dancer and choreographer of the latter twentieth century, he founded the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in 1958 . Successful from the start, the company of mostly African American dancers excelled in works that explored African American experience, including Ailey's Blues Suite ( 1958 ) and his unequivocal master-piece Revelations ( 1960 ). His choreography resisted ‘ethnic’ classification, and his broad output included pointe ballets, modern...

Ailey, Alvin

Ailey, Alvin (5 Jan. 1931)   Quick reference

The Oxford Dictionary of Dance (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2010
Subject:
Performing arts, Dance, Music
Length:
457 words

...and for Samuel Barber 's opera Antony and Cleopatra ( 1966 ). Initially Ailey's company was perceived as an African-American ensemble but over the years it has recruited its dancers from a broad ethnic mix, and has become renowned for the highly individual personalities of its members. In 1969 its associate school was founded and in 1974 its youth company, Alvin Ailey II . From 1964 the company began touring extensively overseas. In 1972 it changed its name to Alvin Ailey City Center Dance Theater when it became resident in that venue but reverted...

Ailey, Alvin

Ailey, Alvin   Reference library

Sally Banes

The Oxford Encyclopedia of Theatre and Performance

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2005
Subject:
Performing arts, Theatre
Length:
158 words

..., Alvin ( 1931–89 ) American dancer and choreographer. With a background in modern dance and jazz, Ailey began during the civil rights era to make dances about the lives of African Americans, and the company he formed in 1958 became internationally known as an emblem of black dignity. Revelations ( 1960 ), his signature work, set to traditional spirituals, was a deeply moving, ultimately exuberant celebration of African-American survival and community. He choreographed dances to music by important black jazz composers, including Duke Ellington and...

Ailey, Alvin

Ailey, Alvin (5 Jan 1931)   Reference library

Susan Au

The Grove Dictionary of American Music (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2013
Subject:
Music, Social sciences, Regional and Area Studies
Length:
525 words

...popularity continues undiminished today. Writings with A.P. Bailey: Revelations: the Autobiography of Alvin Ailey (Secaucus, NJ, 1996) Bibliography S. Cook and J. Mazo : The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater (New York, 1978) J. Dunning : Alvin Ailey: a Life in Dance (Reading, MA, 1996) International Dictionary of Modern Dance (Detroit, 1998) International Encyclopedia of Dance (New York, 1998) T. DeFrantz : Dancing Revelations: Alvin Ailey's Embodiment of African American Culture (New York, 2004) Susan...

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,...

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater   Reference library

The International Encyclopedia of Dance

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2005
Subject:
Performing arts, Dance, Music
Length:
2,782 words

...work for the 1972 opening of the Opera House of the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. Ailey, Alvin , with A. Peter Bailey . Revelations: The Autobiography of Alvin Ailey . New York, 1995. Hering, Doris . Alvin Ailey and Company . Dance Magazine (May 1958): 65–66. Lewis-Ferguson, Julinda . Alvin Ailey, Jr. : A Life in Dance . New York, 1994. Mazo, Joseph H. , and Susan Cook . The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater . New York, 1978. Moore, William . Alvin Ailey, 1931–1989 . Ballet Review 17 (Winter 1990): 12–17. Rogosin, Elinor . The Dance Makers:...

Blues Suite

Blues Suite   Quick reference

The Oxford Dictionary of Dance (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2010
Subject:
Performing arts, Dance, Music
Length:
65 words

...Blues Suite Modern dance in one act with choreography by Ailey , set to traditional blues music, arranged and sung by Brother John Sellers . Premiered 30 Mar. 1958 by the Alvin Ailey Company at the 92nd Street YMHA in New York, with Thompson and Ailey. The dance, which takes place at night in a bordello, became one of the most popular works in the Ailey...

Revelations

Revelations   Quick reference

The Oxford Dictionary of Dance (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2010
Subject:
Performing arts, Dance, Music
Length:
100 words

...Revelations Modern dance work in one act with choreography by Ailey , a score based on traditional black religious music (spirituals, Holy blues, etc.) arr. Howard Roberts, and design by Ves Harper . Premiered 31 Jan. 1960 by the Alvin Ailey Dance Theater at the YM-YWHA, New York. It charts man's spiritual journey from baptism through religious despair to joyous salvation in a dance language that is boldly physical and theatrical. It has become the signature work of Alvin Ailey's American Dance Theater and was performed at the company's 40th anniversary...

Kinetic Molpai

Kinetic Molpai   Quick reference

The Oxford Dictionary of Dance (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2010
Subject:
Performing arts, Dance, Music
Length:
57 words

...Kinetic Molpai Modern dance work in eleven sections with choreography by Ted Shawn and music by Jess Meeker . Premiered 5 Oct. 1935 by Ted Shawn and his Men Dancers at Goshen, New York. Shawn 's choreography is a paean to male power and energy and was revived by the Alvin Ailey City Center Dance Theater in 1972...

Dunning, Jennifer

Dunning, Jennifer (4 Feb. 1942)   Quick reference

The Oxford Dictionary of Dance (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2010
Subject:
Performing arts, Dance, Music
Length:
63 words

... New York , 4 Feb. 1942 ) US dance writer . She studied ballet and modern dance and in 1977 became critic and reporter for the New York Times . Her publications include But First a School: The First Fifty Years of the School of American Ballet (New York, 1985 ) and Alvin Ailey, a Life in Dance (New York, 1996...

Cry

Cry   Quick reference

The Oxford Dictionary of Dance (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2010
Subject:
Performing arts, Dance, Music
Length:
63 words

...Cry Solo modern dance with choreography by Ailey , music by Alice Coltrane , Laura Nyro, and Voices of East Harlem, and lighting by Chenault Spence . Premiered 4 May 1971 by the Alvin Ailey company at City Center, New York, with Judith Jamison. This life-affirming solo, created specially for Jamison, became her most famous role. The choreographer dedicated it to ‘black women everywhere—especially our...

Jamison, Judith

Jamison, Judith (b. 10 May 1943)   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:
606 words

...that she would step down as artistic director but would remain involved in the company as artistic director emerita. [ See also Ailey, Alvin ; Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater ; Choreographers ; Dance ; and Primus, Pearl .] Bibliography Ailey, Alvin , and A. Peter Bailey . Revelations: The Autobiography of Alvin Ailey . Secaucus, N.J.: Carol Publishing Group, 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...

Jamison, Judith

Jamison, Judith (10 May 1943)   Reference library

The International Encyclopedia of Dance

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2005
Subject:
Performing arts, Dance, Music
Length:
577 words

... Donald McKayle , she caught the eye of Alvin Ailey , who subsequently asked her to join his company. She stayed with the company for fifteen years, including a short period in 1966 when the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater joined with the Harkness Ballet in Barcelona. Ailey and Jamison suited each other perfectly, and theirs became an inspiring partnership. Her dancing, a combination of strength, clarity, and poetry, was heightened by her flawless technique and dramatic stage presence. Her early work for Ailey included “House of the Rising Sun” in ...

Jamison, Judith

Jamison, Judith (10 May 1943)   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:
227 words

...joined the Alvin Ailey company, where she remained as a principal dancer until 1980 . Of her many roles, the most remarkable was Cry ( 1972 ; music by Alice Coltrane, Laura Nyro, and The Voices of East Harlem), a 15-minute solo that was Ailey's tribute to “black women everywhere, especially our mothers.” After leaving the Ailey company, Jamison starred in Donald McKayle's Sophisticated Ladies ( 1981 ) on Broadway, formed her own company, and began to choreograph. Upon Ailey's death in 1989 , she was appointed artistic director of the Alvin Ailey American...

Revelations

Revelations   Reference library

The International Encyclopedia of Dance

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2005
Subject:
Performing arts, Dance, Music
Length:
343 words

...the piece in very nearly its permanent form. The ensemble grew along with Alvin Ailey's company until it numbered eighteen dancers. Revelations has become the Ailey company's signature piece and is the choreographer's most respected and successful work. The clear rhythms and sweet melodies of the music are echoed by strong shapes and decisive movements, and the piece exuberantly displays Ailey's interest in theatrical values. The dance is a vision of the history of black people in America. Revelations is divided into three sections. The first section...

Jamison, Judith

Jamison, Judith (10 May 1943)   Quick reference

The Oxford Dictionary of Dance (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2010
Subject:
Performing arts, Dance, Music
Length:
292 words

...in de Mille's The Four Marys in 1965 . Later in 1965 she joined the Alvin Ailey company where she became one of its leading dancers. Inspired by her dramatic, statuesque stage presence Ailey choreographed many roles for her, including the solo Cry ( 1971 ) which established her international reputation. Other choreographers who also created for her included Neumeier ( Legend of Joseph , Vienna, 1977 ) and Béjart ( Le Spectre de la rose , 1979 ). In 1980 she left the Ailey company to work as a freelance dancer and choreographer, starring in the...

Missa Brevis

Missa Brevis   Quick reference

The Oxford Dictionary of Dance (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2010
Subject:
Performing arts, Dance, Music
Length:
74 words

...Premiered 11 Apr. 1958 by the Limón company at the Juilliard Dance Theater in New York, with Limón , Currier , and B. Jones . The ballet, set to Kodály 's Missa Brevis in tempore belli , tells of a man's struggle for survival in the midst of chaos. It was taken into the Alvin Ailey repertoire in 1973...

Pourfarrokh, Ali

Pourfarrokh, Ali (27 Nov. 1938)   Quick reference

The Oxford Dictionary of Dance (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2010
Subject:
Performing arts, Dance, Music
Length:
99 words

...School in New York, the School of American Ballet, and at the Graham school. He danced with American Ballet Theatre ( 1959–63 ), then with Metropolitan Opera Ballet, Harkness Ballet, Frankfurt Ballet, and Joffrey Ballet . He was associate director and ballet master of the Alvin Ailey company ( 1972–6 ), and artistic director of the Iranian National Ballet ( 1976–9 ). Artistic director of the Alberta Ballet ( 1988–98...

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