BDBB: The Black Dance and Broadway Blog

Covering black professionals and professional productions in the dance and theater worlds, plus general arts news

Dance: Dudley Williams, Longtime Ailey Dancer, Dead at 76

dudleywilliams

The news of Dudley Williams’ passing began to filter out on social media late Sunday night. By Monday, the sad news had been confirmed. Williams, 76 (though some sources reported he was 77), a dancer with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater for 40 years, had passed.

Williams’ artistry was renowned and it was remarkable to watch his interpretations of certain roles deepen and grow richer as the years passed. This was especially true with his performances of the “I Wanna Be Ready” solo in Ailey’s “Revelations.”

Here is a link to the New York Times obituary:

The Ailey organization also posted a message to its website in tribute to Williams.

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It is with great sadness that we share the news that Dudley Williams, a beloved member of the Ailey family, has passed away.

“Dudley was an amazing artist and a true friend who was devoted to Alvin Ailey,” states Artistic Director Emerita Judith Jamison. “He danced sublimely and with extraordinary musicality and technique during his four decades with the Ailey company. He always looked like he was floating – literally ‘on air.’ And, he had a great wit, referring to himself as an ‘Eveready battery.’ We will always remember the dignity, wry humor and quality of his dancing – and how he moved all of us with his artistry.”

To celebrate his renowned career of artistry, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s performance on Thursday, June 11, 2015 at Lincoln Center’s David H. Koch Theater will be dedicated to Mr. Williams. In his honor, there will be a special performance of “A Song for You” from Mr. Ailey’s ‘Love Songs.’

In Loving Tribute to Dudley Williams (1938-2015)

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