Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater Turns 'Golden'

The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater is famous for blending the African-American cultural experience with modern dance and bringing those traditions to the world stage. In commemoration of the group's 50th season, legendary dancer and Alvin Ailey veteran Renee Robinson reflects on the institution's golden anniversary.

Robinson was one of the last dancers picked by the late choreographer Alvin Ailey before his death in 1989.

'Alvin Ailey' Celebrates 50 Years Of Magic

Judith Jamison

Judith Jamison Andrew Eccles hide caption

itoggle caption Andrew Eccles

Fifty years since opening its doors, the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in New York has become a staple of American choreography and culture.

Judith Jamison is the company's artistic director. She joined the dance group at a time when the world of professional dance was largely closed to African-Americans. Following the death of founder Alvin Ailey in 1989, which rocked the arts community, Jamison swiftly answered the call to carry on the torch of her esteemed mentor.

"He passed away Dec. 1, 1989," Jamison remembers. "What was I supposed to do? There was no time for question[s]."

The program recently paid a visit to the company's Manhattan studios, where Jamison talked about preparing for retirement, her undying love for dance and sustaining the vision of Alvin Ailey.



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