Peter P. Jacobi is Professor of Journalism at Indiana University. He is a consultant for magazines, a specialist in speech coaching and media training, and author of several books, including Writing with Style: The News Story and the Feature and The Messiah Book: The Life and Times of G. F. Handel's Greatest Hit.African American dancer, choreographer, teacher, and director Alvin Ailey was born in Rogers, Texas. He trained in New York under Martha Graham, Doris Humphrey, Charles Weidman, and Hanya Holm while dancing and acting in Broadway and off-Broadway shows. In 1958 Ailey founded the Alvin Ailey Dance Theatre, the first multiracial modern-dance troupe. He performed his breakthrough piece Blues Suite with the company that same year. His most famous dance, Revelations (1960), a mournful and celebratory story of religious spirit, became the company's signature piece. With these and other pieces, Ailey demonstrated to a skeptical public that modern dance could be terrific entertainment, and his company became hugely popular. In 1965 Ailey retired from dancing in order to devote his time and energy to choreography and to directing his company. Ailey's work has been widely performed by a number of other modern dance companies as well, and he choreographed for such companies as the Joffrey Ballet and the American Ballet Theater. His choreography is direct and often topical, reflecting his observations of the body language of urban blacks as well as the contrasting rhythms of rural life. In addition to Revelations, other well-known works are Creation of the World (1961) and At the Edge of the Precipice (1983). Ailey died in New York on December 1,1989 of blood dyscrasia.