Analyse the Choreographic Style of Alvin Ailey Essay

1397 WordsApr 14, 20136 Pages
Analyse the choreographic style of Alvin Ailey Alvin Ailey was a famous choreographer/dancer also founder of his own dance company (AAADT). Inspired by many, (including Katherine Dunham and Horton) he began dancing at the age of 15 where he found his love for dancing. Ballet, jazz and Broadway were the three main dance styles Ailey loved. These styles can also be recognised in nearly all of his choreographies. As choreographic styles identify the constituent features, when it comes to Ailey’s work we can clearly recognise them, through the movement used. As I stated earlier, Broadway- (one of Ailey’s choreographic styles), is recognised in many of his pieces including- ‘To Bird with Love’ and Revelations climax - ‘Rocka My Soul’. As…show more content…
We also see jazzy stepball changes in both pieces and in ‘For Bird with Love’ we see Horton’s splayed hands technique. Ailey was inspired by Martha Graham when learning to dance. He used to visit the Martha Graham studios and there studied Ballet and Drama classes. Graham’s dance techniques were expressive and included contractions and angular, parallel movements. A dance in which Ailey uses this style could be the first section of ‘Cry’. Throughout, we see the expressive emotion shown through this dancer. We see the use of contractions, arched movements and curves. Soon after the dancer throws the fabric cloth to either side, near the beginning, she side stretches over to the opposite horizontal showing a curve in her torso. She also curves her back slowly up contracting from her stomach. Throughout ‘Cry’, we see many contractions mainly all linking to the stomach. Angular and parallel movements can be seen where the dancer balances on her left leg and lifts up her right leg giving off a right angled shape. (Arabesque Line). This movement is also common in many of Ailey’s other dances including ‘Flowers’ and can be seen in some dances from ‘Revelations’. All three of these movements can relate to Martha Graham’s techniques. Lester Horton also played a major part in Ailey’s life. By the age of 15, Ailey was enrolled at the ‘Lester Horton’ Dance School. Horton soon died in 1953 leaving

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