Wednesday, August 7, 2013
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
Alvin Ailey (January 5, 1931- December 1, 1989) was an African-American activist and choreographer who is mostly noted with helping popularize modern dance, and creating a strong base for African-American's in the 20th century concert dancing culture. In the middle of 1949, Ailey started to become serious about dancing through the Hollywood studio of Lester Horton. Lester Horton was a strong influence to him by teaching Ailey proper dancing techniques and styles. Some of the dance styles includes classical ballet, Native American dance and jazz. Ailey's first dancing debut was in Horton's Revue Le Bal Caribe and he continued to dance in some popular Hollywood films during the early 1950's. The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater was formed in 1958 and consisted of more than just dancing. Ailey wanted his productions to be a theatrical experience for the audience members, so the sets consisted of intricate costumes, make up and special lighting techniques. One of the many positive qualities about his dance company is the fact his company has always been multi-racial, opening the doors to many people from different races/ethnicities and backgrounds who had something to offer artistically Even after Ailey's passing, his company is still alive and doing well with over 70 plus choreographers and hundreds of professional dancers traveling worldwide to showcase their talents.
Last spring was my second time getting to see the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater perform in my hometown of Las Vegas. My first time seeing them perform was when I was only eight years old and I remember the performances vividly due to the amazing costume work and the energy brought into each performance. All of the dancers were very spot on and performed flawlessly, making the complicated dance routines seem simple to those people like I in the the audience. I enjoyed how each piece of the performance offered something new, such as strong hip-hop drum beats leading into a simple orchestral harmony where the dancers would break out into ballet. I remember after seeing the first performance I began dancing in the mirror dreaming to be a part of such a beautiful organization. I do not believe many people know much about all the talent showcased in Alvin Ailey Dance Theater, which is why I decided to do this blog on just that.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2YP7otG63RISuper funny clip with Ellen Degeneres teaching some of the dancers at the Alvin Ailey school in New York some of her dance moves.
http://www.alvinailey.org/This website is the homepage of the dance theater where people can look for tour dates, join classes and purchase some awesome dance merchandise.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l9uEq9SjefgDance clip from the Revelations number called Wade in the Water from a popular negro spiritual.