“The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater has a history spanning more than 50 years. It has achieved international success while setting the standard for modern dance excellence and creating a distinct Alvin Ailey aesthetic. The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater first performed in 1958 at New York’s 92nd Street Young Men’s Hebrew Association. The company included Ailey and 13 young African American dancers. In the 1960s the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater toured the world with performances in Asia, Africa and Mexico. “Cry,” a critically acclaimed Alvin Ailey piece choreographed for Judith Jamison, premiered in 1971. By 1978 the troupe had doubled in size and accrued domestic popularity.”
“Alvin Ailey continued to choreograph throughout the 1980s. He was lauded with honors and awards including the Samuel H. Scripps American Dance Festival Award in 1987 and the Kennedy Center Honor for lifetime contribution to American culture in 1988. Judith Jamison first performed with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in 1965. At 6 feet tall she becomes Ailey’s premier dancer and inspiration. Jamison left the company in 1980 but returned in 1989 to take over as artistic director.
“Robert Battle, a revered choreographer, and modern dancer took over as artistic director of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in July 2011. Battle has had experience working with the troupe and was an artist in residence at the Ailey School in Manhattan.”Read more: The History of the Alvin Ailey Dance Company | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/facts_7366747_history-alvin-ailey-dance-company.html#ixzz21ApLeCkE
It has been a humbling experience working here in New York with Ailey II, but none of his success would have been achieved without hard work and patience. He discovered really soon that dance in the real world is different than what we see on television.
In his opinion, the media has created and modeled a new way to move that he personally thinks is not the best way to express dance as an art form, but at least society has been able to see and taste a bit of the variety of different dance styles.