Alvin Ailey- Revelations Essay

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Alvin Ailey’s Revelations was premiered in 1960 and is based on Alvin Ailey’s childhood memories of worshipping at his Baptist church in Texas. The music within Revelations is a compilation of African American spirituals which helps to develop the idea of the music that was played and sung in the small black churches near to where Alvin lived with his mother during his childhood. Throughout Revelations you see and feel a mixture of emotions as the story starts to unfold and you can see clearly the intensity of how much his life has influenced revelations largely. Revelations is split up into three sections and each section has three or four sub-sections. Section 1 entitled Pilgrim of sorrow contains ‘I’ve been buked’, ‘didn’t my lord…show more content…
The use of contractions help to show the strength that it takes them to try and be free but are still not strong enough to get away as it is shown when the women sink to their knees whilst performing a slow contraction. In the closing phrase of this sub section there is a rapid change of levels as the tempo speeds up the dancers perform a manic spiralling to drop down to make an obvious abrupt end. Contrasting to ‘Didn’t my lord deliver Daniel’ we move onto ‘Fix me Jesus’ which is performed as a duet and portrays the priest and someone that has gone to confess. The lighting changes to blue and white which gives a crystal like intensity. At the start of this section the male figure is stood behind the women and almost covers her movements as if to protect her and to show the trust. The repetition of the women’s hand gestures also seems as if he’s giving her his blessing. There is also repetition from sub section one ‘I’ve been buked’ with the use of proximity and actions such as the bird pose which helps to portray the emotion of this part. Throughout this part the women doesn’t always focus on her partner but is still reliable on him. This is shown through tilted balances and lifts where the male is the supporter. There is an extensive use of weight bearing, strength and trust which are all metaphors within this piece and the use of off kilter positions and balletic actions help to enhance the mood. After the end of Section
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