The life of dancer, choreographer, director and activist Alvin Ailey, towering visionary of 20th century dance, and his transfixing, incisive choreography are explored in award-winning documentarian Jamila Wignot’s (The African Americans, Many Rivers To Cross, Triangle Fire) majestic new film.
Born in Depression-era Texas in the violently racist and segregated south, abandoned by his father when he was three months old, Ailey found salvation from a troubled childhood through dance; and after studying at one of the first racially integrated dance schools in the country, went on to found the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and establish his innovative talent with masterpieces like Blues Suite and Relevations.
Ailey traces the full contours of an enigmatic man whose search for truth in movement led to choreography that centres the Black American experience with grace, strength, joy, and unparalleled beauty. Using Ailey’s own words, evocative archival footage (including original performances of some of his most famous pieces) and interviews with those who knew him intimately, Wignot has woven together a resonant biography of an elusive visionary and a dazzling foray into his work.
Director: Jamila Wignot