The purpose of this assignment is to view and analyze Alvin Ailey’s iconic choreography “Revelations” within the context of dance history. Since dance builds upon dance throughout time, we can use this choreography to identify themes/ideas that emerged in the various stages of dance evolution explored in this semester:
1) Dance expresses religious themes/spirituality as in the dances of the ancient civilizations
2) Dance symbolically represents actions/events of life as in pantomime
3) Dance is an emotional release, as in the ecstatic dances of the middle ages
4) Ballet is a specific technique and approach that continues to influence many dance genres today
Please watch the entire video:
Revelations is a 3 part suite with the title of each section capitalized below: 1)Pilgrim of Sorrow, 2)Take me to the Water, 3)Move, Members, Move
Each of the three sections listed contains various scenes that correlate to various songs.
PILGRIM OF SORROW
I Been ‘Buked – Music arranged by Hall Johnson*
Didn’t My Lord Deliver Daniel – Music arranged by James Miller+
Fix Me, Jesus – Music arranged by Hall Johnson*
TAKE ME TO THE WATER
Processional/Honor, Honor – Music adapted and arranged by Howard A. Roberts
Wade in the Water – Music adapted and arranged by Howard A. Roberts
“Wade in the Water” sequence by Ella Jenkins / “A Man Went Down to the River” is an original composition by Ella Jenkins
I Wanna Be Ready – Music arranged by James Miller+
MOVE, MEMBERS, MOVE
Sinner Man – Music adapted and arranged by Howard A. Roberts
The Day is Past and Gone – Music arranged by Howard A. Roberts and Brother John Sellers
You May Run On – Music arranged by Howard A. Roberts and Brother John Sellers
Rocka My Soul in the Bosom of Abraham – Music adapted and arranged by Howard A. Roberts
In your paper, a) identify the themes and ideas, #1-4 listed above, b) describe how they are expressed in the choreography and c) tie them back to the various stages of dance history that we studied this semester. Include descriptions of costuming, lighting, music, and composition (solo, duet, trio, ensemble, etc) that help create these themes/ideas.
Use the listing above as a guide to organize your paper, describing the scenes chronologically as they appear in the choreography. Create a document in Word, 12pt font, 1″margins, two pages, double spaced. Create a separate title page with your name, title of course/assignment etc. You are responsible for two complete pages of work. Include a bibliography if you use outside resources to research this piece. I encourage you to do so and there is much written on this choreography.
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