Essay Title: 

Alvin Ailey

April 3, 2016 | Author: | Posted in history, holocaust studies

Alvin Ailey

Despite ballet ‘s winning the dominant place in American concert dance in a changed political environment , the concurrent emergence and success of Alvin Ailey points to changing social dynamics in modern dance as well Ailey made his choreographic debut in New York City at the 92nd Street Y . The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater , formed in 1958 , fused in movement and theme the nationalist political focus of the 1930s with the racial heritage of America – thus embracing and altering American modern dance

The roots of the Black Arts Movement [banner_entry_middle]

are easily traced to the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s . That earlier movement was the first attempt by African American artists to produce work consciously grounded in their folk heritage and to utilize that work for the social advancement of the race

The emergence of Ailey in the course of modern dance illuminates how social dimensions of bodies shaped artistic movements in the United States in the twentieth century . In the 1930s dancing pictures of America remained white the depictions of Africa and the Caribbean by African American dancers only reinforced the whiteness of physical portraits of America . Racial integration in the dance world occurred slowly and correlated to increasing political activism for civil rights But the rise of Ailey was definitive . His success occurred at a time of political liberalism and redefinition of the United States as fundamentally ethnically diverse

He formed his own company , called it American , and proceeded to choreograph America . The U .S . government ‘s choice of Ailey to represent America ‘s concert dancing prowess abroad as cultural envoy in the John F . Kennedy International Exchange Program in 1962 finally sanctioned African Americans ‘ rightful place as practitioners in , and creators of modern dance

Alvin Ailey was born in Texas in 1931 just as Martha Graham and others were solidifying the new modern dance . Ailey grew up amid fierce racial segregation when he was five , his mother was raped by a white man (Foulkes , 2002 p179 ) Modern dance gathered momentum in the 1930s because a focus on bodies coalesced with the search to find an American way in the arts that favored an experiential approach attention to the polyglot nature of the country ‘s population , and revivification of the democratic tradition in the midst of an economic depression and an impending crisis in Europe

This progress was made in spite of a desperate time in which most social roles were defined for people as they struggled to find ways to survive In modernism opportunity ‘ allowed for the emergence of an art form filled with women striving to compose serious and meaningful statements with their bodies . Modern dancers figured out ways to combine their ardent embrace of individualism with group movement and communal ventures , primarily in dances of America

The Alvin Ailey Dance Theater ‘s arrival on the New York dance scene in the late 1950s coincided with a rise in government-sponsored cultural exportation . In 1962 the Ailey Company undertook an unprecedented thirteen-week engagement in Southeast Asia… [banner_entry_footer]


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