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Film Data
Ailey  2021
Director:  Jamila Wignot
Producer:
  Lauren DeFilippo and Jamila Wignot, archival producer Rebecca Kent
Editor:
  Annukka Lilja
Music:
  Daniel Bernard Roumain
Director of Photography:
  Naiti Gámez
slideshow
Cast:
spacer1 Alvin Ailey
spacer1 Robert Battle
spacer1 Rennie Harris
spacer1 Cecily Tyson
spacer1 Alvin Ailey spacer1 Robert Battle spacer1 Rennie Harris
spacer1 Cecily Tyson spacer1 spacer1
spacer1 Alvin Ailey spacer1 Robert Battle
spacer1 Rennie Harris spacer1 Cecily Tyson

Synopsis:
Many know the name Alvin Ailey, but how many know the man? Ailey’s commitment to searching for truth in movement resulted in pioneering and enduring choreography that centers on African American experiences. Director Jamila Wignot’s resonant biography grants artful access to the elusive visionary who founded one of the world’s most renowned dance companies, the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.

Wignot’s approach shares Ailey's love of poetry. Where Ailey conveyed poetry through movement, Wignot crafts a visual poetry to evoke Ailey’s memories. Archival footage, layered with audio recordings, expounds on Ailey’s upbringing and establishes the language of his inspiration. Interviews with celebrated company dancers and distinguished choreographers give insight into Ailey’s process and legacy, while the current company of dancers work to bring a tribute to life.

Wignot’s portrait is complex, capturing the talent and confidence of a man in the spotlight while also carving out space for Ailey’s vulnerability. Wignot moves between the interior and exterior, the inhale and exhale, to capture Ailey’s reverberating impact.

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