Discuss the Influences Which Affected the Development of the Movement Style of a Practitioner from Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre.

Topics: Modern dance, Dance, African American Pages: 3 (953 words) Published: November 14, 2012
Discuss the influences which affected the development of the movement style of a practitioner from Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre. You should refer to appropriate examples from Revelations to support your answer.

Alvin Ailey’s movement style has been shaped and moulded constantly as he moved through his life. Whether it was personal experiences or key dancers he worked with, each individual story is told through his works and tells the story of Ailey’s life.

Ailey’s early experiences had a profound impact on his later life. He was raised in Texas by only his mother, since his father left when he was still a baby. They had little money and times were hard enough moving from town to town while race and economy were big problems; poverty was rife and employment scarce. Ailey would have been frequently separated from white children his age. This resulted in Ailey’s work being focused and centred on the acceptance of black dancers and making everyone feel equal. ‘All my work, to some extent or other, is a cry against racism, against the injustice of that period.’-1988. The struggles he faced in early life lead to key movements in his productions; they are often repeated motifs that symbolise meaning. His work ‘Revelations’ shows his journey clearly through the movement content and in several sections we can see links to slavery and imprisonment, this is all interlinked with the treatment of black people that he had experienced from a very early age. The movements sometimes consist of clasping hands that look like digging and controlled struggle movements that show torment and suffering. He thought that communicating with young people was easier through movement rather than dance because dancing was something that everyone could do and it was expressive, it allows people to show their emotions without creating disagreements or violence. In an interview with the New York Times, Ailey defined his artistic creed as follows: ‘I am trying to show the world we are...
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