How Did Alvin Ailey Contribute To Dance

756 Words4 Pages
Alvin Ailey was a prevalent modern dance choreographer in the 20th century known for breaking down the racial barriers within dance. Born in Rodgers, Texas and growing up around the era of social rebellion and the fight for reconstruction of cultural stereotypes, Alvin Ailey’s company played an important role in the civil rights movement. Founding the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre in December 1958, Ailey brought the vision of greater racial equality and used his modern dance as a platform for both his personal and cultural expression. Through the medium of dance, Alvin Ailey emerged African American aesthetic, fostered awareness for the need of multi-racial modern dance, and pioneered dance as a political and social movement. Ailey made a point of producing the works of black choreographers and musicians, focusing his productions on black American themes. He claimed he wanted to start…show more content…
This led to “sexually licentious stereotypes that the Europeanist perspective attributed to Africanist dance.” However, Alvin Ailey aimed to diverge the social limitations that were imposed on black dancers to simply perform “black dances” and incorporate them within the white dances such as ballet and modern. Within his choreographies, Ailey used polycentricism, movement that emanates from any part of the body, such that two or more centers may operate simultaneously. His dances incorporated both striking and soft movements using both the modern dance classic techniques and incorporating percussive attacks of jazz and social dance movements. In one of his first productions Blue Suites (1958), the representation of real people was displayed in the choreography while using the polyrhythmic technique and Ephebism of African
Open Document