For generations of people searching to be heard, and understood, choreographer Alvin Ailey offered a means of expression through dance. From his first performances as a dancer on Broadway in 1954 to his creation of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in 1958 to the triumphant introduction of his ballet “Revelations” in 1960, this masterful creator redefined story telling with every movement.
It seems inevitable after all the years, and the accolades, that Ailey’s life and death in 1989 would eventually become a movie documentary. But this man’s grip on a nation’s need to express doesn’t naturally fit into the traditions of narration, historical stills and video clips that define many nonfiction films. What a joy to share that Jamila Wignot’s memorable “Ailey” both celebrates the mystery of a man as well as captures the magic of his moves.