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Alvin Ailey was an American choreographer and activist who founded the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in New York in 1958.
Alvin Ailey - Revelations (3:06)
Alvin Ailey choreographed “Revelations” when he was just 29 years old. The ballet premiered on January 31st, 1960 and has become a masterpiece of American dance. Video courtesy of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.
A short biography of author and poet Maya Angelou who wrote the bestselling autobiography, "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings."
Josephine Baker fought for racial equality as a performer in the 1920s and '30s. Learn the steps that this dancer took in the fight against discrimination.
A look at American dancer/choreographer Paul Taylor, who revolutionized modern dance and worked with the likes of George Balanchine. Click "Buy Now" to learn more about Taylor's book "Facts and Fancies." Video courtesy of Open Road Media.
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This prestigious accolade came near the end of his life. Ailey died at the age of 58 on December 1, 1989, at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. At the time, The New York Times reported that he had suffered from "terminal blood dyscrasia, a rare disorder that affects the bone marrow and red blood cells." It was later revealed that Ailey had died of AIDS.
The dance world mourned the passing of one of its great pioneers. Alvin Ailey "had a big heart and a tremendous love of the dance,
" dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov told The New York Times, adding, "His work made an important contribution to American culture."
Despite his untimely death, Ailey continues to be an important figure in the arts through the ballets he created and the organizations he founded. The dancers with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater have performed for more than 20 million people around the world and countless others have seen their work through numerous television broadcasts.
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Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater celebrates the human spirit through the African-American cultural experience and the American modern dance tradition. For information about performances, training and educational programs, visit www.alvinailey.org
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