Explore Our History

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater's 50th Anniversary

On March 27, Ailey launches its 50th Anniversary celebration with festivities at The Joan Weill Center for Dance that garner widespread media attention.

In March, Hallmark introduces a series of six Ailey greeting cards created through its Mahogany line.

On April 1, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater becomes the first concert dance company to perform on ABC’s Dancing with the Stars.

On May 8, The Library of Congress opens the archival exhibit “Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater: 50 Years as Cultural Ambassador to the World.”

After 38 years, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater returns to the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) in June for a week-long, sold-out engagement.

In August, in celebration of the 50th anniversary and Ailey’s mission to “deliver dance back to the people,” Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and Ailey II offer free performances and dance classes in all five boroughs of New York City.

On July 10, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater appears on FOX TV’s So You Think You Can Dance.

Sylvia Waters, Artistic Director of Ailey II, celebrates her 40th anniversary with the Ailey organization.

In November, Mattel presents the first-ever Barbie® doll inspired by a dance company – Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater Barbie® doll designed by Artistic Director Judith Jamison.

Highlights of the 50th Anniversary New York season include Hope Boykin’s Go in Grace with an original score sung live onstage by the Grammy Award-winning vocal group Sweet Honey In The Rock; and a week of live performances by the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis.

Joined the Repertory in 2008

Get the Latest News & Promotions from Alvin Ailey