Alvin Ailey Biography (1931-1989)

Born Alvin Ailey, Jr., January 5, 1931, in Rogers, TX; son of Alvin, Sr., andLula E. (Cliff) Ailey; died of dyscrasia, December 1, 1989, in New York, NY.

Nationality
American
Gender
Male
Occupation
choreographer, dancer
Birth Details
January 5, 1931
Rogers, Texas, United States
Death Details
December 1, 1989
New York, New York, United States

Famous Works

  • Credits; Stage Appearances
  • (Broadway debut) Alvin, House of Flowers, Alvin Theatre, New YorkCity, 1954.
  • Actor and dancer, Show Boat, Marine Theatre, Jones Beach, New York, 1957.
  • Actor and lead dancer, Jamaica, Imperial Theatre, New York City, 1957.
  • Paul, Call Me By My Rightful Name, One Sheridan Square Theatre, 1961.
  • Negro Political Leader, Ding Dong Bell, Westport Country Playhouse, 1961.
  • Blackstone Boulevard, Talking to You, produced as double-bill in 2 by Saroyan, East End Theatre, New York City, 1961-62.
  • Clarence Morris, Tiger, Tiger, Burning Bright, Booth Theatre, 1962.
  • Also appeared as an actor and dancer in Broadway productions of The Carefree Tree, 1955, and Sing, Man, Sing, 1956.
  • Credits; Stage Work; Creator And Choreographer
  • Cinco Latinos, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, Kaufmann Concert Hall, New York City, 1958.
  • Blues Suite (also see below), Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre,Kaufmann Concert Hall, 1958.
  • Revelations, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, Kaufmann ConcertHall, 1960.
  • Three for Now, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, Clark Center, New York City, 1960.
  • Knoxville: Summer of 1915, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, Clark Center, 1960.
  • (With Carmen De Lavallade) Roots of the Blues, Lewisohn Stadium, New York City, 1961.
  • Hermit Songs, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, Library of Congress, Washington, DC, 1963.
  • Ariadne, Harkness Ballet, Opera Comique, Paris, 1965.
  • Macumba, Harkness Ballet, Gran Teatro del Liceo, Barcelona, Spain,1966, then produced as Yemanja, Chicago Opera House, 1967.
  • Quintet, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, Church Hill Theatre,Edinburgh Festival, Scotland, 1968, then Billy Rose Theatre, New York City, 1969.
  • Masekela Language (also see below), Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, American Dance Festival, New London, CT, 1969, then Brooklyn Academy ofMusic, New York City, 1969.
  • Streams (also see below), Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, Brooklyn Academy of Music, 1970.
  • Gymnopedies, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, Brooklyn Academyof Music, 1970.
  • The River, American Ballet Theatre, New York State Theatre, 1970.
  • Flowers, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, ANTA Theatre, 1971.
  • Myth, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, New York City Center, 1971.
  • Choral Dances, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, New York City Center, 1971.
  • Cry, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, New York City Center, 1971.
  • Mingus Dances, Robert Joffrey Company, New York City Center, 1971.
  • Mary Lou's Mass, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, New York CityCenter, 1971.
  • Song for You, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, New York City Center, 1972.
  • The Lark Ascending, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, New York City Center, 1972.
  • Love Songs, Alvin Ailey City Center Dance Theater, New York City Center, 1972.
  • Shaken Angels, Tenth New York Dance Festival, Delacorte Theatre, New York City, 1972.
  • Sea Change, American Ballet Theatre, Kennedy Center Opera House, Washington, DC, 1972, then New York City Center, 1973.
  • Hidden Rites, Alvin Ailey City Center Dance Theater, New York CityCenter, 1973.
  • Also created and choreographed Archipelago, 1971, The Mooche, 1975, Night Creature, 1975, Pas de "Duke," 1976, Memoria, 1979, Phases, 1980, and Landscape, 1981.
  • Credits; Stage Work; Choreographer
  • Carmen Jones, Theatre in the Park, 1959.
  • Jamaica, Music Circus, Lambertville, New Jersey, 1959.
  • Dark of the Moon, Lenox Hill Playhouse, 1960.
  • (And director) African Holiday (musical), Apollo Theatre, New YorkCity, 1960, then produced at Howard Theatre, Washington, DC, 1960.
  • Feast of Ashes (ballet), Robert Joffrey Company, Teatro San Carlos, Lisbon, Portugal, 1962, then produced at New York City Center, 1971.
  • Anthony and Cleopatra, Metropolitan Opera House, Lincoln Center, New York City, 1966.
  • La Strada, first produced at Lunt-Fontanne Theatre, 1969.
  • (With others) Mass, Metropolitan Opera House, 1972, then John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Washington, DC, and Philadelphia Academy of Music, both 1972.
  • Carmen, Metropolitan Opera, 1972.
  • Choreographed ballet, Lord Byron (opera; also see below), Juilliard School of Music, New York City, 1972.
  • Four Saints in Three Acts, Piccolo Met, New York City, 1973.
  • Credits; Stage Work; Director
  • (With William Hairston) Jerico-Jim Crow, The Sanctuary, New York City, 1964, then Greenwich Mews Theatre, 1968.
  • Credits; Film Appearances
  • (Film debut) Dancer, Lydia Bailey, Twentieth Century-Fox, 1952.
  • Dancer, Carmen Jones, Twentieth Century-Fox, 1954.
  • Credits; Film Work
  • Choreographer (with others), The Turning Point, Twentieth Century-Fox, 1977.
  • Credits; Television Appearances
  • Dancer (with Horton Company), Party at Ciro's (also see below), 1954.
  • Dancer (with Horton Company), Red Skelton Show (also see below), CBS, 1954.
  • (With Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre) Dave Garroway Today Show, NBC, 1959.
  • (With Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre) Look Up and Live, CBS, 1962.
  • (With Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre) Camera Three, CBS, 1962-63.
  • America's Tribute to Bob Hope, NBC, 1988.
  • A Duke Named Ellington (also known as American Masters), PBS, 1988.
  • The Kennedy Center Honors: A Celebration of the Performing Arts (also see below), CBS, 1988.
  • 16th Annual Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame, syndicated, 1989.
  • Bill Cosby Salutes Alvin Ailey (also see below), NBC, 1989.
  • Credits; Television Work; Choreographer
  • The Jack Benny Show, CBS, 1954.
  • Red Skelton Show, CBS, 1954.
  • Parade, CBC, 1964.
  • Alvin Ailey: Memories and Visions, PBS, 1974.
  • "Blues Suite," Three by Three, PBS, 1985.
  • "Revelations," The Kennedy Center Honors: A Celebration of the Performing Arts, CBS, 1988.
  • "Revelations," Bill Cosby Salutes Alvin Ailey, NBC, 1989.
  • "For Bird--With Love," Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater: Steps Ahead, PBS, 1991.
  • Also contributed choreography for Party at Ciro's, 1954. Choreographed Ailey Celebrates Ellington, 1974 and 1976, Solo for Mingus, 1979, and Memoria, 1979.
  • Credits: Adaptations
  • Blues Suite, Masekela Language, Streams, and the ballet of Lord Byron have been filmed.

Further Reference

Periodicals

  • Dance, February, 1990, p. 138.
  • Essence, November, 1988, p. 64.
  • Jet, December 18, 1989, p. 18.
  • New York Times, December 2, 1989, p. 1.
  • People, May 19, 1980, p. 51; December 18, 1989, p. 166.
  • Time, December 11, 1989, p. 89.
  • U.S. News and World Report, February 18, 1980, p. 75; December 11,1989, p. 18.
  • Variety, December 6, 1989, p. 149.

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