Modern dance reflects black culture for Alvin Ailey company

The 31-member Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre Company will perform at 8 p.m. Tuesday at the Lied Center.

The program will include "Grace," choreography by Ronald K. Brown; "Double Exposure," choreography by Judith Jamison, the company's artistic director; and "Pilgrim of Sorrow," "Take Me to the Water" and "Move, Members, Move" from "Revelations," choreography by Ailey.

The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre evolved from a performance in March 1958 at the 92nd Street Young Men's Hebrew Assn. in New York City. The performance was led by Ailey and included a group of young black modern dancers.

The company has gone on to earn a reputation as one of the most acclaimed international ambassadors of American culture, promoting the uniqueness of black cultural expression and the preservation and enrichment of the American modern dance heritage.

Since its creation, the company has performed more than 170 dance works by more than 65 choreographers. The company presents important dance works of the past and commissions new ones.

In 1989, after Ailey's death, Jamison was appointed artistic director. She wrote her autobiography, "Dancing Spirit." She has been awarded a Kennedy Center Honor for her lifetime contribution to the performing arts. She received an Emmy Award for Outstanding Choreography for her work in the PBS "Great Performances" documentary "A Hymn for Alvin Ailey."

The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre is the main performing group of Ailey's Dance Foundation. Ailey II, its education residency and performance ensemble, appeared in special school-only performances last season at the Lied Center.

Tickets range from $16 to $38.

Tickets are available at Lied Center Box Office, 864-ARTS; Murphy Hall Box Office, 864-3982; Student Union Activities Box Office, 864-3477; KU Medical Center Bookstore; and Ticketmaster outlets, (816) 931-3330.

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