The internationally renowned Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater (AAADT) turned 50 years old this year. Last week, the troupe opened its annual month-long run at New York City Center with a star-studded fete attended by the likes of Oprah Winfrey, Rev. Jesse Jackson, Tiki Barber, Al Roker and Andre Leon Talley.
"Dance speaks to everyone.... And when Alvin Ailey spoke of the human spirit through dance, people listened – with their hearts and with their minds," Winfrey, a longtime supporter of the company, said.She's not the only one heralding the company's efforts; New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg proclaimed Dec. 4 "Alvin Ailey Day" in New York and the state's Governor David A. Paterson honored the company, while the United States Congress has considers it "the nation's cultural ambassador to the world."It has been a long and storied journey since their humble beginnings at the 92nd Street Y in New York City, breaking ground as an innovative marvel in modern dance mixing African expression, ballet and live contemporary music.And 50 years later, the troupe is showing no signs of slowing down. source