Alvin Ailey’s Dance Revelations & Choreography Essay Example
The video portrays the second section of the dance “Revelation” known as “take me to the water” and it is all about the idea and essence of baptism. A group of people in white dresses represent the spirit of baptism; these people act as the participants of the ceremony of baptism. A large umbrella is the most significant element in the “wade of the water” part of the dance. In the section of the dance under consideration, a young couple is baptized by a spiritual leader; the leader is signified through the umbrella. The movements of the dancers are particularly similar to the ripples in the water enforcing the name of the section through their movements. The section includes strong influences from African-American culture and spiritual heritage. Some particular ‘feature movements’ of the dance include jumping across large distances and excessive turning along with flexible bending. The creation of forceful waves and angular lines through the movement of hands is also hard to miss. The conceptualization of water is, of course, central to this part of the dance.
Born in early 1930s Alvin Ailey started his career in the dance industry at the age of eleven in California in an era when the dance opportunities were severely limited for the black race. He went to a junior high school in early forties in Los Angles and then he met with a gentleman name Lester Horton who owned a dancing company. Lester Horton had a group of racially mixed dancers and also taught dance class to new comers. Meeting with Horton was the most significant moment in Alvin Ailey’s life to turn him into a dance legend. Horton provide him with the opportunity and expertise Alvin Ailey needed to become a dance and choreographic master.
The obstacles Ailey faces in keeping his company going is on the financial front. The company does not have a continuous source of money flow and the major source of money for the company is only donations and grants. So, to generate money Ailey and his team has to work very hard and in his own words, they spend more time in chasing donations than preparing and making new dances. The budget of the company including the expenses of the dance school is almost around four million dollars annually and the company has to depend primarily on donations to remain in the business. So while the company is doing so well in the performance sphere, it is still not a self-sufficient company and has to run through the grants of different donors. There are two benefits of having a dance school attached to a dancing company. One, it is easier to get donations when a company is constantly adding value in the form of teaching new students. Secondly, it a strong form of motivation for the students to be a part of an already established company and the interaction of the professional dancers with the newbies is very beneficial for the students.