“Revelations” the most important curative and self-healing dance of the 21st century should be the mandatory diagnosis for survivors of the 2016 presidential election in the United States. Alvin Ailey’s 1960 brilliantly-choreographed masterpiece speaks to rising to the occasion in the face of continuous adversity. The opening of “Revelations,” performed by the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre at New York City Center, leans into the common feeling of disappointment. A subtle-colored background with dancers donning skin-toned clothing vividly illustrates the prevalence of undignified moments in the lives of all people.
Majestically, the company filled the stage, with de’cor and costumes by Ves Harper, as Hall Johnson’s ‘I Been Buked’ dared to explain musically troubled human missteps. The ability of Alvin Ailey, the founder of AAADT, to create “Revelation” reflecting the experience of Black women and citizens around the globe, gives personal testimonies to wrestling with similar issues as well as demonstrating the importance of this invaluable dance.
A clear example, was a gentleman seated next to me in NYC, during this evening performance, who is a visitor from Israel. According to this citizen of Israel, a land in territorial dispute since the biblical days, he recalled meeting Ailey, face-to-face, in his homeland and seeing “Revelations” the first time in this holy venue.
Although an ageless dance, “Revelations” dancer Hope Boykin, in one section leads a diverse group, as dancers elegantly demonstrate resilience and tenacity in overcoming obstacles. While assurance is addressed, humility, patience and requests for divine intervention are not taken for granted.
Establishing the surge of energy and power available to man through faith and belief materialize, as dancers Constance Stamatiou and Yannick Lebrun gracefully dazzled the enthusiastic contingent with agile bodies balanced by an arm, next by a leg and then a body. A powerful, pleasing and indulgent sight for the sold-out crowd.
Honor, humor and ascension are explored in this must-see, incomparable extraordinary work of art.
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