Ailey Profiles the Enigmatic, Brilliant Dance Master Alvin Ailey

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Ailey, premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival and opens Friday in theaters. It provides an immersive portrait of Alvin Ailey, a gay Black man who knew poverty, racism, and homophobia but also drew on his rich culture to become one of the 20th century’s most important choreographers.

He died in 1989, but his company has endured and continues to commission new work; Wignot’s film intersperses Ailey’s biography with footage of dancers rehearsing a new piece for the group’s 60th anniversary in 2018.Wignot encountered the dance group’s work in college, when she obtained a ticket for a performance through the Black student union at her school.

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