NEW YORK (AP) — It was March 1958 when an African-American dancer named Alvin Ailey, then making his living on the Broadway stage, gathered up a group of fellow dancers and presented a one-night show of his own works. In the audience at the 92nd Street Y in Manhattan was 18-year Sylvia Waters, who was studying dance across town at Juilliard. She had never seen anything like it. “It was absolutely riveting,” she says now. “I had never seen men dance like that.” Most exciting to Waters was seeing people dance “who I could relate to,” she says. “There was something so visceral about the experience. We didn’t know at the time that it was history, but it was definitely special.”
YANNICK LEBRUN (Cayenne, French Guiana) began training in his native country at the Adaclam School under the guidance of Jeanine Verin. After graduating high school in 2004, he moved to New York City to study at The Ailey School as a scholarship student. Mr. Lebrun has performed works by choreographers Troy Powell, Debbie Allen, Scott Rink, Thaddeus Davis, Nilas Martins, and Dwight Rhoden and danced with the Francesca Harper Project Modo Fusion. He was named one of Dance Magazine’s “25 to Watch” in 2011, and in 2013, France-Amerique magazine highlighted him as one of the 50 most talented French in the United States. Mr. Lebrun was a member of Ailey II and joined the Company in 2008.