Watch the trailer for Ailey – a new documentary celebrating the visionary American choreographer and founder of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.
Directed by Jamila Wignot, the documentary captures the brilliant and enigmatic man who, when confronted by a world that refused to embrace him, was determined to build one that would.
A New York Times review said “Wignot layers images, video and – most important – voice-overs from Ailey to create a portrait that feels as poetic and nuanced as choreography itself.”
Ailey is a sensorial, archival-rich story that traces the full contours of this extraordinary artist’s biography and connects his past to our present with an intimate glimpse into the Ailey studios today, where we follow innovative hip-hop choreographer Rennie Harris as he conceives a new dance inspired by Ailey’s life.
Using never-before-heard audio interviews recorded in the last year of his life, we experience Ailey’s astonishing journey in his words.
Ailey is released in UK & Irish cinemas 7th January 2022
Watch the trailer:
Who was Alvin Ailey?
A visionary artist who found salvation through dance, Ailey was born in the depression era of violently segregated Texas where he and his mother were forced to pick cotton in fields and work as domestic servants in white homes. Moving to Los Angeles in 1942 at the age of 10, Alvin was awakened to the unknown joy of dance in 1946 at a concert performance at the Los Angeles Philharmonic Auditorium though he only got serious about dance a few years later.
In 1958 Ailey founded the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater to present his vision of honoring Black culture through dance. His work fused theater, modern dance, ballet, and jazz with Black vernacular, creating hope-fueled choreography that continues to spread global awareness of Black life in America. Ailey’s choreographic masterpiece Revelations is recognized as one of the most popular and most performed ballets in the world.