The Legacy of Dance Pioneer and Activist Alvin Ailey Lives On As His Namesake Company Performs Three Shows in Dallas This Weekend.
Even after his death in 1989, Alvin Ailey’s influence in modern dance has never waned. His work was a huge breaking point during a time when being an African-American in dance was less commonly noticed. He opened doors for those who’s talent wasn’t always accounted for. His strong beliefs that dance could change reach anyone at all ends, was what made his work and himself, great.
Not just a choreographer, he was also a strong activist in human rights. His activism held him and his dance company strong. President Obama even selected Ailey to become a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom. He was the perfect example of unity and creativity. His dance company closed the gap of being a black dancer in elite performances.
The company continues to prove that talent goes beyond color. His passion for dance showed until his passing but continues to live through the company as they have performed for more than 20 million people around the world.
Luckily, his legacy continues to flow right into companies close to home, such as Booker T. Washington. The students at the school were lucky enough to be involved in a master class lead by Ailey company member Daniel Harder. He started off the class with a warm up then lead the dancers into graceful movements and intricate practices. The class was designed to include a fusion of modern, ballet and jazz as well as finding the freedom in movement and technique.
This weekend at the Winspear Opera House, the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater is set to perform through Friday and Saturday. The company continues its title as “cultural ambassador” of the world and as the nations leading modern dance company, something that attendees at this weekend’s shows will surely notice.
It’s a legacy that’ll continue to live for years to come as Ailey’s spirit continues bringing dance alive into perpetuity and inspiring the dancers of tomorrow.