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Revelations – Alvin Ailey

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  • Pages: 3
  • Word count: 540
  • Category: Dance

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Lighting – in ‘I been buked’ the stage is dark and there is only a yellow spot light on all the dancers who are in centre stage. This Symbolises the pain and the mood of the dancers. The lighting in Pilgrim Of Sorrow is much darker than In Move, Members, Move. This could be because there is a lot more hope in the third section. At the beginning of the dance there is little hope and pain is shown. In the second section the lighting is a blue wash across the stage and it is brighter than before. This section is representing a baptism and the blue could represent water. A yellow spot light appears on the dancers when the dancers are looking up to the sky. May be hope from a God. The third section is much lighter with brighter colours and an orange light on the backdrop maybe signifying the sun. The quality of life seems much better here and there is more hope and trust between dancers. There is a strong theme of religion and faith throughout and the lighting from above may represent a God or Jesus. Spatial pattern-

At the start there is a tight triangle shape of the 9 dancers. The 3 males are at the back- the smallest are at the front. The dancers spread out but return to the centre in this section- showing the community and also how they are looking to God. The centre is also a spotlight. In ‘Fix me Jesus’ there is a duet between a man and a woman. There is a sense of trust between the two dancers who remain together throughout the section. There are moments when they are apart but they return to the centre. The end position is a the man lifting the woman upwards. Symbolise God? In ‘Take me to the water’ – ‘Processional’ there is a sense of church community between the 5 dancers, through a baptism. In ‘wade in the water’ the dancers are placed between blue material sheets which are like a river. The music also talks about the river. In ‘I wanna be ready’ a solo male is dancing in a spot of white light.

Aural Setting- Gospel music including songs which Ailey had heard when he was a child. For example ‘wade in the water’ at a baptism in his local church. The influence of Ailey’s childhood on the dance is evident here, which relates to the themes of the dance. In ‘The Day is Past And Gone, You May Run On, Rocka My Soul In The Bosom Of Abraham’ there is a large sense of community and there is music visualisation- as the tempo of the music gets faster so do the movements- when they say the words’ leading on’ the female dancers do a sweeping action with their fans toward the front in time to the voice singing the lyrics. As the whole of the company comes on stage there is an image of all the husbands with their wives. Some of the words in the lyrics include ‘neighbour’ ‘my soul is free’ ‘Jesus’ which creates a more uplifting image from the start, which links to the context of the dance.

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