BAM Affiliation In 1958, Ailey formed the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, which, after 60 years of activity, is considered one of the hallmark companies in American dance. Starting in 1968, the troupe performed regularly at BAM for several seasons. The company returned to BAM in 2008 for the jubilant occasion of its 50th anniversary. Ailey is best known for making works that represented the black tradition in America, which he called "blood memories." He often said that "dance came from the people and that it should always be delivered back to the people."