It’s a simple photograph: a young man staring directly into the camera, arms folded.
In the image captured in 1962, dance maestro Alvin Ailey looks defiant. Rhea Combs also sees something else when she looks at the black-and-white image. To her, the fact that photographer Jack Mitchell captured the performer shirtless is a visual metaphor, as if Ailey is telling the viewer, “I’m just baring my chest to the world and giving my all,” Combs said.
“[Ailey] has a clear-eyed vision and [is] unapologetic,” Combs, a curator at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, said of the photo. “And I think that embodies who he was and the type of vision he had for the company.”
By Joshua Barajas, PBS
Featured Image, “Revelations,” 1961. Photo by Jack Mitchell, courtesy of Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation, Inc. and the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture
Full article @ PBS