ALVIN AILEY: Ailey is credited with helping to popularize modern dance throughout the world for his role as a dancer, choreographer. In 1958, Ailey founded the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, where he would go on to create 79 ballets. Perhaps, his most famous dance is Revelations, which is based upon his experience coming of age in the rural South and is inspired by the blues, spirituals and gospel. A year before his passing in 1989 from AIDS, Ailey received the Kennedy Center Honors for his contributions to the world of dance. Today, his legacy continues on as his company produces past works as well as specially commissioned ones. Presently the company boasts more than 200 works by over 80 choreographers as part of their repertoire.