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‘Revelations’ 1960. Homework Due in on 5 th June. Write essay on ‘ Revelations ’ Alvin Ailey send strong messages through the choreography of Revelations.

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Presentation on theme: "‘Revelations’ 1960. Homework Due in on 5 th June. Write essay on ‘ Revelations ’ Alvin Ailey send strong messages through the choreography of Revelations."— Presentation transcript:

1 ‘Revelations’ 1960

2 Homework Due in on 5 th June. Write essay on ‘ Revelations ’ Alvin Ailey send strong messages through the choreography of Revelations. Discuss themes behind his choreography and comment on how Ailey portrays themes through movement, lighting, costume, music and set design. Use homework sheet to help you!! Download a copy of the Dance GCSE specification to have in your file.

3 Learning Objectives Friday 22 nd May 2009 To know factual information about Revelations To be able to identify key characteristics of Revelations.

4 Dance GCSE: Performance in a Group. Dance GCSE requires candidates to perform as apart of a group. This assessment will be worth 20% of their overall GCSE. Group sizes range from a minimum of 3 and a maximum of 5. The dance length should be between 2 and half to 3 minutes in duration.

5 Alvin Ailey (Jan 5,1931-Dec 1,1989) Ailey was an African American Modern Dancer and choreographer who founded the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater Initially, he took dance classes from choreographer Katherine Dunham, and later studied under Los Angeles, California dance teacher Lester Horton. Ailey was fascinated by Horton's choreography, When Lester Horton died in 1953, 22-year-old Ailey was chosen to fill the shoes of his mentor. He became the director and resident choreographer for the Lester Horton Dance Theater. Ailey started his own dance company in 1958 featuring primarily African American dancers. He integrated his dance company in The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater popularized modern dance throughout the world. As a result of these tours, Ailey's choreographical masterpiece Revelations, based on Ailey's experience growing up as an African American in the South, is among the best-known and most frequently seen of modern dance performances. Ailey died of AIDS, at the age of 58.

6 The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater popularized modern dance throughout the world. As a result of these tours, Ailey's choreographical masterpiece Revelations, based on Ailey's experience growing up as an African American in the South, is among the best-known and most frequently seen of modern dance performances. Ailey died of AIDS, at the age of 58.

7 Alvin Ailey developed his own style by fusing elements of modern dance, jazz and classical ballet together. Ailey also combines elements of African dance with motifs adapted from blues, jazz, and Broadway. His pieces tell stories about the light-hearted as well as the problematic sides of life for the black inhabitants of North America. It is their sense of religion and optimism, their pain and their vibrancy, which find expression in his choreographed works.

8 Alvin Ailey Dance Theater By the late 1960s, the company had become a well-known African American artistic group closely tied to the Civil Rights struggle. The company started as small modern dance company and flourished into one of the premier institutions of African American culture. They rose to national and international success and were renowned for making progress within the civil rights, women's rights, and gay rights struggles of the late 20th century. Ailey as a choreographer was influential as an artist and as an arts activist committed to developing an African American presence in dance.

9 Revelations FACTUAL INFOMATION The ballet was first performed on 31st January 1960 at the Kaufmann Concert Hall in New York. Music - Traditional; Afro American Spirituals Costumes - Lawrence Maldonado Lighting - Nicola Cernovitch THEMES It tells the story of the Blacks struggle from slavery to freedom and ending in the final triumph of the human spirit. It was a personal, social and political statement It is entirely choreographed by Alvin Ailey with various traditional and gospel music. The piece responds to society in that it portrays the lives of the Black people in America at a time of heavy oppression. The dancers work from their torso using the Graham technique of Contraction and Release. The use of gravity is evident as work is well grounded and the dancers use the floor as a tool not as an object that is against them. Ailey was not intimidated to use everyday, simple movement, like running or walking,to portray what he needed. The ballet is done in three parts: Pilgrim of Sorrow, Take Me to the Water and Move, Members, Move.

10 The piece responds to society in that it portrays the lives of the Black people in America at a time of heavy oppression. The dancers work from their torso using the Graham technique of Contraction and Release. The use of gravity is evident as work is well grounded and the dancers use the floor as a tool not as an object that is against them. Ailey was not intimidated to use everyday, simple movement, like running or walking, to portray what he needed. The ballet is done in three parts: Pilgrim of Sorrow, Take Me to the Water and Move, Members, Move.

11 1) Pilgrim of Sorrow Theme/plot/synopsis: It portrays the faith of the American Blacks under the oppression if the time. Design: The curtain rises to a blank background. A group of dancers are huddled and bent over with their heads down and arms extended. The only life is the warm light over the dancers. The dancers are wearing long, tight dresses in red, orange and yellow. Music: The songs "I Been Bulked', "Daniel" and "Fix me Jesus" Dance movement: The dancers move around with simple yet powerful movements that show gestures of spiritual need. They do this by having their arms stretched to the sky of reaching out to different parts of the hall. The feeling of anguish comes alive in the movement-bent legs,bowed heads and curving torsos. It continues with a dance to 'Daniel' with two women and a man and is followed by a pas de deux to the song 'Fix me Jesus'. The piece ends with the woman standing on the extended thigh of the male dancer. He has represented her spiritual guide through the dance.

12 2) Take Me to the Water Theme/plot/synopsis: This is a personal memory of Ailey's from his own Baptism by a river. It represents the spiritual cleansing of the religious Baptism. Design: The stage is given a spiritual feel as all the dancers are in white and are lead on stage by a man holding a white pole with white streamers coming off it. A woman with a big white umbrella leads the man and woman who are to be baptized. The women are in long white dresses with frills and the men in white pants with mesh white tops. The three dance at the end among two big pieces of clothe - one white and one blue which represent the purifying water. The mood becomes solemn again and the song 'I Want to Be ready' comes on Music: They dance to ' Wade in the Water'. Dance movement: It is a flowing, light dance. It ends with a male dancer under a spotlight with heavy contractions and spasms to create the feel of anguished repentance for their sins.

13 3) Move, Members, Move Theme/ plot/synopsis: It starts with three men running around the stage in an attempt to shake off the burdens of their sins. The men are joined by a group of elegant women who portray black women coming together at the end of the day to gossip and chat. Design: The men, dressed in shirts and a waistcoat and black pants. The women are in long, authentic brown dresses with hats and fans. Music: It starts with "Sinner man" and moves into " The day is past and gone" and ends with the fun and upbeat Rock My Soul in the Bosom of Abraham". The dancers fill the stage with cheerful and vibrant dancing. Dance movement: The dancers fill the stage with cheerful and vibrant dancing. The work if flowing and light in weight. There are many turning steps which are accentuated by the flowing of the dresses.

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