The link between Alvin Ailey and Jacob’s Pillow began in 1953 when the twenty-two-year-old Ailey first performed here with the Lester Horton Dance Theater. His iconic Revelations was originally more than an hour long, and was distilled into its present format for performances at the Pillow in 1961. The company now known as Ailey II was founded in 1974 as the Alvin Ailey Repertory Ensemble, and its 1988 Pillow appearance marked the last time Ailey himself would visit before his death the following year. Ailey II continues under the direction of Francesca Harper, and the Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation is now guided by Robert Battle after more than two decades under Judith Jamison. In 2000, several former Ailey dancers appeared at the Pillow under the auspices of RhythMEK, and another section from Revelations was presented here in 2007 by Matthew Rushing.