Alvin Ailey’s: Revelations is a Gospel Performance show. Alvin Ailey was an American choreographer who founded the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in New York City. He was known for popularizing modern dance and brining forth the participation of African-American in the 1900s. Ailey's choreographic masterpiece Revelations is believed to be the best known and most often seen modern dance performance. In Revelations, there are seven sections that we watched in class. Each one was never the same, always something dramatically different than the prior one. Alvin Ailey’s choreography to Revelations is definitely twisted with excitement and emotion.
The opening dance “The Revelations” is an ensemble. The performers were close together in a clump, center stage. They moved as one body, as one soul as one performer. The women were dressed in nude long dress, and men in nude leotard. The formation of the dance started with a triangle shape clump which was visible when they did a level change increase as it went from front to back. Few times they expanded out of the clump using the space of the stage but always returned back together as one, center stage. These performances made me picture how God is one person but many people. The act of God can come out in others not just one being.
The following dance performance is a trio. “Didn’t my Lord Deliver Daniel” included one man and two women, wearing the same nude color, women in dress and men in a leotard. This piece told a story. The choreography was active and detailed upon the lyrics. When the lyric of music has a main singer behind the chorus you can see how one of the performers will accent that one solo singer while the other two performers show the chorus. The energy in this song is loud and jumpy, and that’s exactly what the dancers show, the flow of energy through every move.
“Fix Me Jesus”, is a duet couple. If you carefully listen to the music and the gender of whose singing, it coincides with the duet....
Members of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater perform “Revelations” nearly as often as ordinary people brush their teeth. This magnificent work, created by Alvin Ailey in 1960, is a dance on land and in water, a journey through African-American spiritual music and, for dancers, an act of reverence for the generations that came before.
“It doesn’t matter how tired I am,” said Briana Reed, a company member since 1998. “As soon as the music starts, I feel myself transported to another place.”
Told in three sections —“Pilgrim of Sorrow,” “Take Me to the Water” and “Move, Members, Move” — Ailey’s burning exploration of grief and joy celebrates its 50th anniversary on Wednesday at City Center. As part of the season-long commemoration, the troupe’s artistic director, Judith Jamison, will conduct performances on Friday and Saturday nights. “It’s like a port de bras for me,” she said. “It’s just so easy to breathe with that music.”
Recently Ms. Jamison and a few others fleshed out crucial moments of the dance. “It means the world to me to have done that ballet,” she said. “It’s a classic work, and it will remain in my body.”
‘I Been ’Buked’ From ‘Pilgrim of Sorrow’
Ms. Jamison calls “ ’Buked,” above, the ultimate prayer. “I always tell the dancers, ‘If you’re not sweating after you do that, then you haven’t done it correctly,’ ” she said. “That is a hard dance to do, to give it the sense of strain and weight, even if it’s just by listening to the words: ‘I’ve been ’buked, and I’ve been scorned.’ That is the weight of the world on shoulders being pulled down into the earth.” Such yearning comes to life through the movement — arms outstretched, heads tilted back, the dancers lift their sternums toward the heavens. Masazumi Chaya, the company’s associate artistic director, said: “Actually, the movement drops, but I don’t want it to really drop. I want the dancers to catch it! And open their hearts to receive it. I tell them to receive that light, and that energy comes through.” The dancer Amos J. Machanic Jr., center rear, added: “Life has just beaten you down, but at the same time the words also talk about not giving up even in the midst of sorrow, even in the midst of a storm. When that music comes on, a sense of calm comes over me, and it reminds me of how badly I wanted to be in the company.”
‘Processional/Honor, Honor’ From ‘Take Me to the Water’
In this sacred, joyful section — captured here moments before “Wade in the Water,” in which rippling sheets of silk are held across the stage — a woman prepares for her baptism. Linda Celeste Sims, at left, second from right, said: “It’s about cleansing and changing and becoming someone better. The beauty of ‘Revelations’ is that we are all dealing with something, and it doesn’t matter what religion or race or nationality we are. We can start to move ahead — not worrying so much about the past, but continuing forward. It’s like you’re being baptized.” For Ms. Jamison, it depicts a serious ritual of the church: “The baptism is one of the holiest events in the church, particularly in the black church, and so being completely submerged in that water and brought up and having a new life is what that is about. In that we see hope.”Continue reading the main story