November 2, 2007

An Introduction to Alvin Ailey

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A couple of friends at work suggested that I check out the performances of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre while they were in town. It's been a while since I saw any dance performances, so I had Quintessentially pick up some tickets for me.

The cast was almost exclusively African American, with a few other minorities thrown in. I counted 2 female performers who were white.

The first part of the program, called the River, was interesting in that it was a fusion of classical ballet and modern dance. As with many fusion efforts, it didn't quite work for me, although there were highlights. Meander featured Alicia J. Graf with two male dancers, and she had the most beautiful form.

The second program was entitled the Golden Section, and featured dancers wearing bikini tops, shorts and sneakers all done in gold - very bling! This was very enjoyable as it was set to pop, energetic dance music.


 The last program was one of the troupe's best-known works, Revelations. It takes in elements of gospel music rooted deeply in the African American culture. The first part, I Been 'Buked, was exactly what I expected to see in this performance of modern dance. Wade in the Water was light and enjoyable, but the best segment was clearly Sinnerman, with the dancers displaying powerful moves. The final segment, Rocka My Soul in the Bosom of Abraham, is always a crowd favorite and draws calls of encore.

I really enjoyed the performance and will try to see more of these performances in the future.

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