Alvin Ailey Home

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Michael Swilley
Professor Henning
Dance Comp 372
30 April 2013
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater:
Home
Alvin Ailey was born January 5, 1931 to a teenage mother in Texas and grew up without his father in their lives. The name of the town was Navasota where he and his mother lived, at around 12 years of age they moved to Los Angeles where he learned to speak fluently in different languages. Ailey was inspired in the art of dance after seeing the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo perform; from that point on, dance was his passion. In 1949, Ailey studied modern dance with Lester Horton, thus joining the company after one year. Ailey also studied under Martha Graham. Ailey achieved his greatest fame with his own dance company, which he founded in 1958. That same year, he debuted Blues Suite, a piece that drew from his southern roots. Another of his major early works was Revelations, which drew inspiration from the African American music of his youth. The blues, spirituals and gospel songs all informed this dance piece. According to the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater website, Revelations came from Ailey's "'blood memories' of his childhood in rural Texas and the Baptist Church." (BIO.com) On April 29, 2013 at 8 pm at the Mondavi Center of the Performing Arts, in Davis, California. I attended the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater (AAADT). It was up close and personal. All I could do is reminisce on the discipline of my dance training as I wiggled in my seat with anticipation waiting for the curtain to rise. I could write about the performance from beginning to end, but I choose not to. However, I do want to write about a segment of the performance that evoked a riveting, yet somber mood that struck me to my core. Home. (2011) choreographed by Rennie Harris (assisted by fellow choreographer Nina Flagg) who has a Hip-Hop dance company called the Rennie Harris Puremovement he founded in 1992. Music by Dennis Ferrer and Raphael Xavier - Underground is My...
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