by Jahnesha Huertas
The mission of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater is to establish a cultural community that emphasizes the humanity and beauty of African American heritage and diverse cultures to unite people of all races, ages, and backgrounds. Founder Alvin Ailey began creating pieces that drew from his Texan background that emphasized the blues, gospels and spirituals. He called these inspirations ‘blood memories.” Throughout his lifetime, Ailey created 79 ballets and emphasized that the mission of his company was not only to showcase his original works, but to recreate works of the past that were important for modern audiences. In all, over 200 works by more than 70 choreographers have been performed by The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.