alvinailey.jpgAlvin Ailey Jr. was born January 5,1931, in the Central Texas town of Rogers,in Bell County. He was the only child between Alvin who was a laborer and Lula Elizabeth Ailey. When Alvin was only six months old his father abandoned the family. Then soon after at the age of six his mother moved them to Navasota, Texas where segregation left him feeling like a outside throiugh most of his generation.
In 1942 Ailey and his mother once again moved to Los Angeles, California. Where she worked in a aircraft factory. Alvin's early interest developed in art, by drawing pictures throughout his childhood. Once he got older he took interest in althetics by joining the gymnatics and football team. Alvin discovered dance when a friend took him to visit the modern dance school ran by, Lestor Horton who was the first dance school to admit members of all races. Horton's company included American and Japanese influences. Ailey began studying with Horton in 1949, however Ailey left his school a month later. So in 1948 after Ailey graduated from high school, he considered becoming a teacher. He then entered the Unviersity of California to study languages. A year later horton offered Ailey a scholarship in 1949, and he returned back to his school. Only to leave again a year later to attended San Francisco state college. In San Franciso, California Ailey danced in nightclub, soon after he begin training back at Hortons.

Early Careerexternal image ailey_2web.jpg
The year Ailey made his debut, Horton died and Ailey took over the company as the company artistic director. Ailey choregraphed two pieces that were presented at the jacob's pillows dance festival in Becket, Massachusetts. However, the works recieved a poor review, but Ailey stayed on track. He continued to stay on track and still took dance and acting classes. From the mid-1950s through the early 1960s ailey appeared in numerous musical prouctions such as The Carefree Tree; Sing, Man, Sing; Jamaica; and Call Me By My Rightful Name, and he played in a major part in the play Tiger, Tiger, Burning Bright. In 1958 Ailey performed several concerts at the 92th street Young Women's Hebrew Association in New York City. His first major piece, Blues Suites, which was inspired by blues music. After a good review. Ailey scheduled a second concert, then a third which featured his most famous work, Revelations, accompained by the jazz music of Duke Ellington(1899-1974). This famous piece is what pulled the audience into African American religious life.

external image imgAlvin%20Ailey2.jpg Alvin Ailey Dance Theater
In 1959 Alvin Ailey created the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, which started off as a group of eight black dancers, but as the school grew he intergrated his company.A year later, the theater became the resident dance company at the Clark Center for the performing Arts in New York City. In the mid-1960s Ailey struggled with his weight and gave up dancing in favor or choregraphy. The dance school began to have money problems even though the company recieved funding from private and public organizations. this was a problem the Alvin quickly overcame. Alvin Ailey also had the leading African American soloist of modern dance, Judith Jamison(1944-). In 1969, Alvin's company moved to Brooklyn, New York, as the resident dance company of the Brooklyn Academy of Music, an arts center with three theaters.
As the years passed on the company performed in Southeast Asia and Australia as part of a international cultural program arranged byPresident John F. Kennedy (1917-1963). They also performed in Brazil, Europe, and West Africa. Ailey contined to choregraph pieces such as Feast of Ashes, Anthony and Cleopatra, and the piece tat was the peak of the decade Masekela Language. which was a dance based on the music of Hugh Masekela, a black South African trumpeter who lived in exile for speaking out against apartheid.
Ailey's company was the first modern dancers to visit the former Soviet Union since the 1960s. Soon after Juith Jamison who performed the solo, cry made the Troupe's known pieces. The piece was deciated to "all black women everywhere-especially our mothers". It protrays the struggles of different generations of black American women, the solo ends with the song, "Right On, Be Free".

Later years
In 1980 Ailey suffered a breakdown that put in a hospital for weeks. He had issues dealing with the death of a close friend, began to go with a midlife crisis, and was experiencing money problems, but his reputation as the founding father of modern dance continued to grow. on December 1, 1988 he died as aresult of a blood disorder. Ailey recieved a Dance magazine award in 1975, the Springarn Medal, given to him by the National Aexternal image aaadt.jpgssociation for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)in 1979, and the Capezio Award. Also the Kennedy Center Honors prize.

Through Alvin Ailey's career he has inspired himself to dance with passion, and to express life and human spirit. His pieces grabbed the attention of audiences from all over the world. He housed not only African American dancer but anyone who held the passion of dance not matter what race. Each one of his pieces told a story that touched the hearts of everyone. It pulled the audience into the African American reglious life. Alvin Aliey had became the founder of modern dance. He had a rough childhood but he was able to use that to push him to succeed, and strive for the best. His name, and his school is known worldwide. People from everywhere audition each year to be apart of this excellence dance threater.

Works Cited
-"Alvin Ailey" february 28,2010
Bibliography: Ron Tyler, ed., The New Handbook of Texas, Vol. 1 (Austin, Texas: Texas State Historical Association, 1996) pp. 74-75.

-Encyclopedia of world biography fenruary 28,2010
Copyright © 2010 Advameg, Inc.

-Ailey, Alvin, with A. Peter Bailey. Revelations: The Autobiography of Alvin Ailey. Secaucus, NJ: Carol Pub. Group, 1995.