NEW YORK — As we celebrate Black History Month, we honor history makers who shaped the cultural tapestry of American culture and the world. When it comes to the arts, Alvin Ailey laid the groundwork for many dancers of color to be featured on stage.
Now the dance theater is being recognized for one of its iconic masterpieces in a powerful YouTube Originals special, “Black Renaissance.” The program is in partnership with Google Arts & Culture, premiering Friday, Feb. 26.
In honor of the 50th anniversary of Ailey’s masterpiece, “Cry,” the dance theater is among Black History makers like The Obamas, Stacey Abrams, and Kelly Roland, added to the lineup.
Ailey choreographed the ballet in 1971 as a birthday present for his mother and dedicated the performance to “all black women everywhere — especially our mothers.” The piece was first performed by legendary dancer Judith Jamison, who at the time defied the odds.
The special celebrates the contributions of Black History makers and artists who left their mark on the world and honor the creators who are reimagining the future.