Alvin Ailey: A Life In Dance

Paperback | March 22, 1998

byJennifer Dunning

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Alvin Ailey (1931–1989) was a choreographic giant in the modern dance world and a champion of African-American talent and culture. His interracial Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater provided opportunities to black dancers and choreographers when no one else would. His acclaimed “Revelations” remains one of the most performed modern dance pieces in the twentieth century. But he led a tortured life, filled with insecurity and self-loathing. Raised in poverty in rural Texas by his single mother, he managed to find success early in his career, but by the 1970s his creativity had waned. He turned to drugs, alcohol, and gay bars and suffered a nervous breakdown in 1980. He was secretive about his private life, including his homosexuality, and, unbeknownst to most at the time, died from AIDS-related complications at age 58.Now, for the first time, the complete story of Ailey's life and work is revealed in this biography. Based on his personal journals and hundreds of interviews with those who knew him, including Mikhail Baryshnikov, Judith Jamison, Lena Horne, Katherine Dunham, Sidney Poitier, and Dustin Hoffman, Alvin Ailey is a moving story of a man who wove his life and culture into his dance.

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From Our Editors

Alvin Ailey (1931-1989) was a choreographic giant in the modern dance world and a champion of African-American talent and culture. This biography tells the moving story of a man who wove his life and culture into his dance. 27 illustrations.

From the Publisher

Alvin Ailey (1931–1989) was a choreographic giant in the modern dance world and a champion of African-American talent and culture. His interracial Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater provided opportunities to black dancers and choreographers when no one else would. His acclaimed “Revelations” remains one of the most performed modern dan...

A dance critic and reporter for theNew York Times, Jennifer Dunning has covered the dance world since the 1970s. She lives in New York City.
Format:PaperbackDimensions:496 pages, 9 × 6 × 1.32 inPublished:March 22, 1998Publisher:Da Capo Books

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0306808250

ISBN - 13:9780306808258

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From Our Editors

Alvin Ailey (1931-1989) was a choreographic giant in the modern dance world and a champion of African-American talent and culture. This biography tells the moving story of a man who wove his life and culture into his dance. 27 illustrations.