Dancing Revelations: Alvin Ailey's Embodiment of African by Thomas F. DeFrantz

By Thomas F. DeFrantz

within the early Nineteen Sixties, the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater used to be a small, multi-racial corporation of dancers that played the works of its founding choreographer and different rising artists. via the overdue Sixties, the corporate had develop into a widely known African American inventive staff heavily tied to the Civil Rights fight. In Dancing Revelations, Thomas DeFrantz chronicles the troupe's trip from a small smooth dance corporation to 1 of the leading associations of African American tradition. He not just charts this upward thrust to nationwide and foreign renown, but in addition contextualizes this development in the civil rights, women's rights, and homosexual rights struggles of the past due twentieth century.
DeFrantz examines the main celebrated Ailey dances, together with Revelations, drawing on video recordings of Ailey's dances, released interviews, oral histories, and his personal interviews with former Ailey corporation dancers. via vibrant descriptions and gorgeous illustrations, DeFrantz finds the connection among Ailey's works and African American tradition as an entire. He illuminates the twin fulfillment of Ailey as an artist and as an arts activist dedicated to constructing an African American presence in dance. He additionally addresses matters approximately how dance functionality is documented, together with matters round spectatorship and the reveal of sexuality, the connection of Ailey's dances to civil rights activism, and the institution and upkeep of a winning, large-scale Black Arts institution.
Throughout Dancing Revelations, DeFrantz illustrates how Ailey mixed components of African dance with motifs tailored from blues, jazz, and Broadway to choreograph his dances. by means of re-interpreting those tropes of black tradition in his unique and well-received dances, DeFrantz argues that Ailey performed an important function in defining the African American cultural canon within the 20th century. because the first booklet to check the cultural resources and cultural influence of Ailey's paintings, Dancing Revelations is a crucial contribution to fashionable dance historical past and feedback in addition to African-American studies.

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