Cry Review

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Conceived out of a concept devised by Alvin Ailey, Cry took its inspiration from the suffering of the African American Woman. "She represented those women before her who came from the hardships of slavery, through the pain of losing loved ones, through overcoming extraordinary depressions and tribulations. Coming out of a world of pain and trouble, she has found her way-and triumphed." In this three part solo, the dancer, clad in a white leotard and long ruffled skirt, brings the audience on a journey of bitter sorrow, brutal hardship and ecstatic joy. The dancer began the piece in the centre of the stage, towards the back, immediately pronouncing to the audience the fact that the woman will be the principal aspect of the work. The dancer hides her face before beginning movement; lowering her only possession, a white cloth to show her pride. This symbolises the white peoples, as she is drowned in white fabric creating an initial introduction of the oppression of black women. Upon watching this first demonstration, the piece immediately strikes the audience as a true portrayal of raw emotion, and storytelling with the detail of combined lyrics and movement. From the beginning of the piece, the audience are immediately aware of the contradictory elements intrinsic in Cry. The movements are inspiring, despite the woman struggling, forcing her torso into contractions, her expression remains complacent and composed, depicting her strength. The woman utilises the space, through levels and dimension however, she undoubtedly conveys her confinement, beating her fists into the air. Additionally, motifs of open and closed shapes further enhance the implicit notions of pride and dignity whilst concurrently displaying the constraints aforementioned. These contradictions, inherent throughout Cry, build atmospheric tension in order to engage the audience. As tension arises, the audience immediately seek to understand and find solutions to denounce this. In a special...
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