A portrait of the legendary choreographer Alvin Ailey (1931-1989)

2021 | Running Time: 1 Hour 22 minutes | Rating: PG-13

Ailey is a portrait of the legendary choreographer Alvin Ailey (1931-1989), a trailblazing pioneer who founded his influential studio Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in 1958 at age 27. The documentary traces the full contours of this brilliant and enigmatic man whose search for the truth in movement resulted in enduring choreography that centers on the Black American experience with inimitable grace and power. Told through the choreographer’s own words and featuring evocative archival footage and interviews with those close to him, director Jamila Wignot weaves together a resonant biography that connects Ailey’s past to our present with an intimate glimpse into the Ailey studios today, following innovative hip-hop choreographer Rennie Harris as he conceives a new dance, “Lazarus,” inspired by Ailey’s life.

“Ailey is a searing and inspirational account of a visionary artistic genius who used his gift of dance and movement to express the Black American experience. Jamila Wignot has created an indelible portrait of both the artist and his work and NEON is thrilled to be part of continuing his legacy by bringing this remarkable film to theaters across the country.”

Darcy Heusel, NEON.


Jamila Wignot, Director, Nominated for:

Outstanding Breakthrough Creative (Motion Picture), 2022