To celebrate the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s return to the stage for its 2021 season, jeweler Temple St. Clair commissioned photographer Sharif Hamza to create portraits of three dancers from the company.
The images feature dancers Jacqueline Green, Samantha Figgins and Yannick Lebrun, each captured in motion wearing the Temple St. Clair Rock Crystal Amulet, one of her earliest designs and a style she considers to be a personal talisman. A signature of the brand for three decades, she continues to revisit the amulet and release new iterations.
“Art is what makes us human. Dance — like jewelry — is one of our earliest art forms. It is part of our storytelling and social history,” explained St. Clair, whose husband is a former modern dancer. The duo are passionate supporters of the arts, and specifically of dance.
The portraits will be posted across New York City in conjunction with the dance theater’s December homecoming engagement and will follow the company’s 2022 national tour, sharing the images from city to city.
Alvin Ailey was a trailblazer in 1958 when he founded a company dedicated to enriching the American modern dance heritage and preserving the uniqueness of the Black cultural experience. Now in its seventh decade of achievement, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater celebrates the universal power of the human spirit. With a repertory of more than 235 works by more than 90 choreographers, the company has performed for an estimated 25 million people on six continents — as well as millions more through television broadcasts, film screenings and online platforms.
“I find the company’s outreach to young people tremendously inspiring and hopeful,” St. Clair added, when speaking to her continued support of the organization. “Ailey dancers participate in school and community programs all over the country teaching workshops and performing for students that have little to no exposure to the arts.”
“I personally feel that a life of art and creativity opens doors to opportunity, hope and possibility beyond what seems immediately apparent,” she said.