Ulysses Dove created his explosive masterpiece, Episodes, for the classical London Festival Ballet in 1987. The company danced the piece in bare feet. The following year, Dove re-choreographed the dance on pointe for Patrick Dupond’s Ballet Francais de Nancy. In 1989, Alvin Ailey took Episodes into the repertory of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, allowing audiences a glimpse of what dance would look like in the next century. Like his mentor Ailey, who was always exploring the battle of the sexes in his choreography, Dove sharply exposed the eternal dilemma of men and womencan we live with each other or can we live without each other? to a provocative soundscore by Robert Ruggieri. Judith Jamison said “Dove’s Episodes is riveting and he is one of my favorite choreographers. He was also one of Alvin’s favorites as well as a former Company member. That is the lineage I’m promoting at Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.”

In 1992, Dove told Gus Solomons, Jr., “Since the first piece I did, Alvin believed in my work. He would take time to argue with me because he knew I would just not accept anything unless I really believed it. Even though we fought, we were always truthful with each other. The crazier my stuff got, the more I found my own voice and the more he liked it. Alvin taught me about humanity. His heart beat once for him and once for the rest of the world.”