Revelations is a three part ballet which “explores the places of deepest grief and holiest joy in the soul.” (Alvin Ailey Dance Theatre Inc. n.d). The use of African-American gospel and spiritual songs helps to portray these feelings. The decision by Ailey to use this type of music shows the influence that the African culture had upon his upbringing as this piece is said to be a tribute to his childhood in Texas and the Baptist Church (Alvin Ailey Dance Theatre Inc. n.d). In particular, “Wa...
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...c, these influences can be seen. Growing up in Texas during the Great Depression would likely have had great impact on Ailey, and it is said that the inspiration to his piece Revelations draws on the “blood memories” (Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation Inc. n.d) of his childhood and the Baptist Church. These memories of the Baptist Church can be seen throughout Revelations, particularly during Wade in the Water. While I was familiar with Ailey’s style already, I still feel as though I learned a great deal over the five weeks that we studied his work. I hope to continue to be able to use the different african dance techniques, such as the grounding through the legs and feet, in the future. Although Ailey passed away in 1989, his work is still studied and performed worldwide to this day and his legacy is continued through his school, Ailey School (Alvin Ailey Biography n.d).
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