Lineage and Legacy : Horton Through the Ailey Lens, Then and Now

Date of Award


Document Type

MSU-Only Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)


College of the Arts


Theatre and Dance

Thesis Sponsor/Dissertation Chair/Project Chair

Christian von Howard

Committee Member

Jessica DiMauro Marks

Committee Member

Lauren Grant


This written thesis includes my research and investigation into the ideologies of cultural relevance, equity and inclusion through the legacy and lineage of the Horton technique at The Ailey School. I examine the history of Lester Horton, Alvin Ailey and my experiences as an Ailey student, dancer and educator for nearly thirty years. I used this knowledge in the creation of my choreographic thesis offering, Roots and Routes . In this work I explored the historical and contextual framework of Horton at The Ailey School, while additionally giving voice to the use of this traditional, codified modern dance technique as a foundational tool in the creation of contemporary work.


The performance video is restricted to the Montclair State University community but the PDF file of the thesis, which is located at the bottom of the screen, is available to anyone interested in reading it.

File Format


Evans-Peña, Lakey_Redacted.pdf (1477 kB)
PDF file of thesis

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