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Alvin ailey background_info
Alvin ailey background_info
Alvin ailey background_info
Alvin ailey background_info
Alvin ailey background_info
Alvin ailey background_info
Alvin ailey background_info
Alvin ailey background_info
Alvin ailey background_info
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Alvin ailey background_info

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  • 1. Alvin Ailey
  • 2. Childhood  Ailey was born in Texas in 1931  Raised by mother during ‘hard times’  His father left when he was a baby  Suffered segregation and racism during childhood  Witnessed violence towards his mother as a child  Had to move a lot for mother to find work
  • 3. Religion  Ailey was a devout Baptist  He was heavily influenced by his Church/Religion  He attended Church every Sunday morning  This is where his love for gospel music came from and can be see through his works
  • 4.  “Texas was a tough place for a boy in the 1930’s. Race and the economy were both big problems.” (1995)  “I had very little to do with white people as a small child.”
  • 5. Influences  Katherine Dunham- In 1945 Ailey went to see her company perform for the first time….. “I saw black male dancers performing modern dance on stage for the first time…. It was a very spiritual experience for me.” “..their moves, their jumps, their agility, the sensuality of what they did just blew me away.” Dunham fused ballet and jazz with African and Carribean forms of dance
  • 6. Lester Horton  At the age of 15 Ailey went to study dance with Lester Horton  Horton created the first multi racial dance group on the West coast  Had his own technique- Horton technique which is still taught at Ailey’s dance school today  Massive influence on Ailey and his career  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SGKClA27FI4
  • 7. Horton continued….  1953 Horton died of a heart attack  The company selected Alvin Ailey to create new works for the next year  Ailey then began to teach for Horton’s school  1954- Ailey created his first professional work for the company “According to St Francis” (which was a tribute for Horton)
  • 8. New York  Ailey moved to New York and took part in musicals on Broadway  He continued his dance training taking ballet and modern classes at Martha Graham’s dance studios  Graham technique can be seen throughout his works and is a key influence on his style  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-SdfDTiB9FA
  • 9.  “There were many terrific black dancers in New York City, and yet, except for an occasional concert or art show, there was no place for them to dance. Martha Graham used black dancers but aside from that, the New York City Concert dance scene was basically closed.”

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