Who is Alvin Ailey?

Karla Hinojosa
Dance Proficient
May 15, 2014

Early Life

Career Highlights

Alvin Ailey was born on January 5, 1931, in Rogers, Texas.

Alvin Ailey was one of the leading figures in the modern dance world.

He was born into a poor family, his mother was only a teen when she had him and his father abandoned them.

His dance inspiration came from the church services he attended to during his childhood.

At age 12 he left his hometown and headed to Los Angeles.  

Final Years

Alvin Ailey was honored in 1988 by the Kennedy Center for his contributions to the arts.

Ailey died on December 1, 1989 at Lenox Hospital in New York City. He was 58 years old.

It was revealed that he had died of AIDS a few time after his death.

Even after his death, Ailey continues to be an important figure of the arts through the ballets he created and the organizations he founded.

Ailey has always showed to be a talented student, he excelled in languages and athletics.

He was inspired to pursue dancing after he saw the Ballet Russet de Monte Carlo perform.

He joined Lester Horton's dance company.

He made his Broadway debut Truman Capote's short-lived musical House of Flowers.

He had a chance to work with Martha Graham and acting with Stella Adler.

He founded his own company in 1958, and in 1960 he took it on the road.

He choreographed close to 80 ballets.

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