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"You Take My Heart"

Founded in 1958, the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater is a world-renowned institution that has pioneered the expression of the African-American experience through modern dance. The company has expanded over the years to include a dance school, a camp, and this year it moved into its first permanent home at 55th Street and Ninth Avenue.

Company founder Alvin Ailey, who died in 1989, picked Judith Jamison, a former dancer and choreographer, to carry on his vision as the company's artistic director. "Alvin and every other choreographer I've worked with handed me their heart and their soul," Jamison reflects. "They said, here, I'm trusting you with this, you take my heart, and you show the rest of the world exactly what I'm thinking, what's in my spirit and in my mind and in my soul."

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