NEW YORK – February 29, 2024 – The compelling story of the life, work, and legacy of dancer and choreographer Alvin Ailey, founder of the renowned Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, is the subject of Portrait of Ailey, a new eight-part documentary series premiering in February 2024, during Black History Month, and rolling out through September on PBS LearningMedia, a free website with thousands of classroom-ready resources for preK-12 teachers. The series was created by Sylvia Waters, director emerita of the Ailey II company, with archivist Dominique Singer and adapted for use on PBS LearningMedia by The WNET Group’s Kids’ Media & Education team. Portrait of Ailey uses rare historical film and still images as well as contemporary footage to create a sweeping narrative of Mr. Ailey as a performer, choreographer, celebrity, teacher, social activist, arts advocate, and creator of an enduring institution that is currently celebrating its 65th anniversary.
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, recognized by U.S. Congressional resolution as a vital American “Cultural Ambassador to the World,” has performed for over 25 million people in 48 states and in 71 countries on 6 continents, celebrating the African-American cultural experience and the American modern dance tradition. Ailey’s permanent home is The Joan Weill Center for Dance, the largest building dedicated to dance in New York City, the dance capital of the world.
The Ailey Organization includes: Ailey II (a second performing company of young dancers and emerging choreographers), The Ailey School (one of the world's most extensive dance training programs), Ailey Arts In Education & Community Programs (which bring dance into classrooms and communities), and Ailey Extension (offering dance and fitness classes to the public).