Today's Articles

People, Locations, Episodes

Fri, 03.07.1958

The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater is Founded

*On this date in 1958, the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater (AAADT)’s beginning is affirmed.  This is a modern dance company based in New York City. Choreographer and dancer Alvin Ailey founded it.  Ailey was the company's director, choreographer, and principal dancer.

The company started as an ensemble of only seven dancers, plus their choreographer and many guest choreographers. In its beginning, their group of young Black modern dancers first performed at New York's 92nd Street Young Men's Hebrew Association (92nd Street Y) under Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater (AAADT).   Following their first performance, which included Ailey's Blues Suite, the company traveled on "station wagon tours"; in 1960, they became a resident company of the 51st Street YWCA's Clark Center for the Performing Arts. During this period, Ailey choreographed his famous work Revelations, a character dance to traditional Black music. In 1962, Ailey changed his all-Black dance company into a multi-racial group, believing that there was a kind of reverse chauvinism to anything all Black.  

Currently, it comprises 32 dancers, led by artistic director Robert Battle and associate artistic director Masazumi Chaya.  The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater has performed for an over 25 million people in 48 states, as well as 71 countries on six continents. Among these performances are included two South African residencies.  

To Become a Dancer

New Poem Each Day

Poetry Corner

Black brother, think your life so sweet That you would live at any price? Does mere existence balance with The weight of your great sacrifice? Or can it be you fear the... TIME TO DIE by Ray Garfield Dandridge.
Read More