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Edges of Ailey

Edges of Ailey

(Pre-Order, Sep 24 2024)

Adrienne Edwards
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A revelatory look at the life, work, and legacy of the legendary choreographer Alvin Ailey

Alvin Ailey is one of the most celebrated choreographers of the twentieth century. The creator of iconic works such as Blues SuiteRevelations, and Cry, he is widely recognized for the dance company he founded in 1958 when he was just 27 years old. Ailey imagined and cultivated a platform for modern dance through his innovative repertoire, interdisciplinary sensibility, and support of dancers and choreographers. This expansive volume situates Ailey within a broader social, creative, and cultural context, looking at the artists who influenced and collaborated with him, the spaces and scenes he frequented, the dynamic themes within his dances, and how his vision and work changed contemporary dance.

Essays by artists, scholars, and critics cover topics ranging from the Black church, the South, and the Great Migration to nightclubs, musical influences, and queerness. With more than four hundred images including photographs of works Ailey choreographed, archival materials such as notebooks, sketches, letters, and never-before-published behind-the-scenes photos, and conversations about the legacy of the company with Sylvia Waters, Judith Jamison, and Masazumi Chayathis as well as several contemporary dancers and scholars, this study offers an unprecedented full picture of one of the twentieth century's leading artists and the way his work continues to inspire today's generation of dancers.

Distributed for the Whitney Museum of American Art

Exhibition schedule:

Whitney Museum of American Art, New York

(September 25, 2024--February 2, 2025)


Adrienne Edwards is Engell Speyer Curator and Director of Curatorial Affairs at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.


  • Publisher: Whitney Museum of American Art
  • Publish Date: September 24, 2024
  • Pages: 400
  • Language: English
  • Type: Hardcover
  • EAN/UPC: 9780300278842
  • BISAC Categories: Individual Artists - Monographs, Performance, Dance - Modern


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