5 FUN FACTS ABOUT ALVIN AILEY AMERICAN DANCE THEATER!

We’re so excited for opening night tonight of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, we thought you might enjoy some of this (mostly) LA-centric trivia about the iconic company!

Did you know…?

Lester Horton Dance Theater members Joyce Trisler, Alvin Ailey, and Lelia Goldoni in Ailey’s first choreographic work, According to St. Francis, 1954. Photo by Jack Mitchell.

Lester Horton Dance Theater members Joyce Trisler, Alvin Ailey, and Lelia Goldoni in Ailey’s first choreographic work, According to St. Francis, 1954. Photo by Jack Mitchell.

The daily training for Ailey dancers consists of Horton technique, named after Lester Horton whose Los Angeles based Horton Dance Company is where Alvin Ailey got his start. Bonus trivia: the original Horton Dance Theater was on Melrose Ave between Sierra Bonita and Curson Ave!

Alvin_Ailey_American_Dance_Theater_in_Alvin_Ailey_s_Revelations._Photo_by_James_R._Brantley_01

AAADT in Alvin Ailey’s Revelations. Photo by James R. Brantley

Since its premiere in 1960, Revelations has been seen by more audiences around the world than any other modern work! It has been enjoyed by over 23 million people in 71 countries across six continents.

Odetta seen here performing at the Hollywood Turnabout Puppet Theatre

Odetta seen here performing at the Hollywood Turnabout Puppet Theatre

Odetta was created by the company’s own Rehearsal Director and Guest Artist Matthew Rushing, who  hails from Los Angeles. Rushing graduated from LACHSA and won a Music Center Spotlight Award, before joining Ailey II! Bonus trivia: Odetta’s first professional experience was in musical theater as an ensemble member for four years with the Hollywood Turnabout Puppet Theatre! 

Artistic Director Robert Battle. Photo by Andrew Eccles.

Artistic Director Robert Battle. Photo by Andrew Eccles.

Current Artistic Director Robert Battle is only the third person to run the company, as personally picked by Alvin Ailey’s own successor Judith Jamison. Bonus trivia: Jamison’s autobiography, Dancing Spirit, was edited by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and published in 1993.

Choreographer Ulysses Dove has two pieces in Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s complete program here at Dorothy Chandler Pavilion: Episodes and its precursor Bad Blood. Dove’s inspired style is a merging influence of his choreographic mentors Alvin Ailey and Merce Cunningham.