Monday, April 14, 2014

Auditorium Theatre Junior Board Kicks-off Membership Drive

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The dress circle of the Auditorium Theatre was packed with young Chicagoans this past Saturday night as the Junior Board hosted a private reception before watching River North Dance Chicago take to the theatre's historic stage. The Junior Board, a diverse group of young professionals committed to furthering the mission of the Auditorium Theatre, is devoted not only to helping fund the restoration and preservation of our National Historic Landmark Auditorium Theatre, but also to raise awareness and generate support for the Auditorium’s educational outreach efforts and world-renowned programming. Part of this goal will be expanded in 2014 as the board kicks off an initiative to develop a base of Members-at-Large throughout the city. Members-at-Large will have the opportunity to attend Junior Board events and fundraisers throughout the year, spread awareness about the theatre during the pivotal 125 Season which begins this September, and participate in volunteer activities.


The event this past Saturday showed the board is off to a promising start for the Members-at-Large campaign. Attendees at the River North reception came from all different types of professional backgrounds. One of the great parts about being an Auditorium Theatre supporter is the interaction it provides for young Chicagoans with a variety of interests. The Junior Board currently consists of architects, marketing executives, attorneys, bankers, artists, and graphic designers among others, and is expanding rapidly to include a host of young professionals who are helping to bring great things to the city. Among the upcoming projects for the board is a renovation project to provide an accessible entryway for the theater at 50 E. Congress Parkway, as well as a fundraiser on June 10 for the theatre's Hands Together, Heart to Art performing arts summer camp for children who have lost a parent. The Junior Board and Members-at-Large will also be working to promote an upcoming “Made in Chicago” Film Series for the 125th Anniversary Season. The film series will be free to the public and give the board a great chance to showcase the breathtaking theatre to a widespread audience. Stay tuned for the possibility to vote on one of the movies that will be screened.


If you are interested in becoming a Member-at-Large, please contact Amanda Martinez Byrne at 312.341.2364 or abyrne@auditoriumtheatre.org.

Upcoming Dates for Members-At-Large:
Tuesday, June 10, 2014: Trivia Night at Diversey Yacht Club – proceeds support the Auditorium’s Hands Together, Heart to Art summer performing arts camp for children who have lost a parent.
Friday, July 18 & Friday, August 1, 2014: Hands Together, Heart to Art Junior Board volunteer days.
Friday, September 26, 2014: The Devil’s Ball – Another perk included in the Membership-at-Large program is a ticket to the Junior Board’s annual Devil's Ball, so mark your calendars for September 26, 2014 so you can party with us Chicago-style, take backstage tours of the theatre, and bid on auction items while sipping champagne!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Jonas Friddle and the Majority - Live at the Auditorium

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The Auditorium Theatre is excited to welcome Jonas Friddle and The Majority, the winning band in our Chick Corea and Bela Fleck contest! The band was one of over 30 to enter for a spot to perform in the historic Auditorium lobby proceeding Chick and Bela's concert on April 5.
Jonas Friddle and the Majority has a huge sound that combines string quartet, horns and rock and roll drums for a melody filled, dance inspiring result. Jonas' arrangements and songwriting are heavily rooted in traditional American music. His passion for old-time style banjo from his native North Carolina leads to rhythmic and rolling compositions. At the same time this founder of The Barehand Jugband pulls from the raucous sounds of 1920s blues and string bands for dance inspiring tunes. Friddle has received recognition as a songwriter, including Song of the Year in the John Lennon Songwriting Competition and First Place in the Great American Song Contest. He is joined by the Majority, a group of talented multi-instrumentalists that found each other at Chicago's Old Town School of Folk Music. The full band has been playing together since 2012 and includes drums, a string quartet and horns for a unique and huge sound. Following the example of new folk groups like Crooked Still, Abigail Washburn and Old Crow Medicine Show, Jonas Friddle and the Majority look to re-invent traditional songs.

Connect with Jonas Friddle and the Majority on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Behind the Scenes of Aladdin: Christopher Gray Flies High as the Djinn of the Lamp

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By Stephanie Brown, Houston Ballet Public Relations Intern

Christopher Gray and Artists of Houston Ballet
Christopher Gray as the Djinn (Genie) with artists of Houston Ballet; Aladdin; Photo by Amitava Sarkar

David Bintley’s Aladdin, which runs March 22&23 at the Auditorium Theatre, has a way of enchanting the audience with beautiful, unique props and exquisite, colorful costumes. Below are some photos for your viewing pleasure!


Untitled-1
Behind the scenes shots by Stephanie Brown

One of my favorite characters in Aladdin is the Djinn of the lamp (the Genie), and demi soloist Christopher Gray dances his heart out in this role. I was intrigued by his experience in creating his own version of the the Djinn of the lamp (the Genie), so we asked a few questions about the role.

Watch video of Christopher Gray as the Djinn in Aladdin.




Houston Ballet: Tell us about dancing as the Djinn of the lamp (the Genie). What are the most challenging aspects? What are the most exciting?


Christopher Gray_Photo Amitava_2012
Christopher Gray; Photo by Amitava Sarkar

Christopher Gray: Hands down, one of the most challenging things is that some of the magical reveals were hidden in set pieces for long periods of time before some pretty difficult dancing. So it’s the opposite of what you would normally do, which is to stay moving, keep yourself loose and then go out and dance. Being crouched down in a small space before having to dance is pretty difficult.

For the most exciting thing, this is my third time flying in ballet, and I always love doing that. The audience always really appreciates it. On opening night during the first scene with the levitation, everybody applauded. It was great! So that’s always exciting for me. It’s a challenge as well because you’re at the mercy of the wire when you’re up there. There’s not too much you can do to keep yourself from spinning or swinging, so it’s learning how to do those small adjustments without putting yourself in a counter rotation.

Houston Ballet: Explain your wardrobe. How do you feel about being painted completely blue?

Christopher Gray: Fortunately, it’s not completely blue. I don’t have to paint my legs. This in terms of ballet costumes is not so difficult to dance in, which I always like. Sometimes we have pounds and pounds of clothing and wigs we have to deal with, so this is relatively simple. [I wear] just a small vest and baggy pants


Aladdin C├ęsar MoralesPrincess Badr al-Budur Nao SakumaThe Mahgrib Iain MackayThe Djinn of the Lamp Tzu-Chao ChouAladdin’s Mother Marion TaitThe Sultan, the Princess’s father Jonathan PaynAladdin’s Friends James Barton, Mathias Dingman
Artists of Birmingham Royal Ballet; Aladdin; Photo by Bill Cooper

Any time you don’t feel constricted by a costume, which I don’t because there are even shirtless scenes for me, it’s a lot easier to deal with. I prefer pants over tights any day of the week! In terms of wigs, Amanda, our wig and makeup person, has done a great job of making a wig that fits really flush to our heads. We just have a little bit of hair, like a top knot pony tail, which I don’t feel impedes my ability to turn and it doesn’t knock me off center, which is often a problem with costumes.

Being painted blue is hard. I’m there around 6:15 for a 7:30 start time. And that includes not even being on stage until a good 40 minutes into the first act. Overall, I face about an hour and a half worth of body makeup, face makeup, and wigs. It’s difficult and, once again, the opposite of how you would want to get ready for a show…you know, standing there half naked for an hour and a half. I do throw warm-up clothes back on top, but you don’t want to sweat the makeup off. It’s a fine line you have to deal with. I’m getting pretty used to being painted, though. I think this is my third or fourth color!

Houston Ballet: What do you do to get in character for the the Djinn of the lamp (the Genie)?

Christopher Gray: As the body makeup and especially face makeup and wig come along, I feel like that’s part of my transformation. We have these wicked eyebrows and drag queen style makeup. So it’s hard not to look at yourself with a little bit of humor when you see the character staring back at you.

If anything, the one thing that I have been doing is going over the mime section to try to create an aura of power, confidence, mystery, and a little bit of humor as well. Trying to work the fake eyebrows has been fun. As the shows progress, you find more time and space for that on stage and then the character grows from there.


Artists of Houston Ballet
Artists of Houston Ballet; Aladdin; Photo by Amitava Sarkar

Houston Ballet: What do you like about the props and costumes for Aladdin?

Christopher Gray: One of my favorites is probably the most simple: the lamp that lights up. I think it’s very effective on stage. Those few times Aladdin lifts it up and then there’s a big crescendo in the music when it turns on and starts glowing…I think that’s fantastic! Also, the magic carpet is done really well.

I wish I could see the show from the front, but unfortunately that’s not in the cards for me. The lion dance in the second act is a big crowd favorite, and I also dance the head portion of the lion. It’s a lot of fun to do that. It does pose a problem because it’s difficult to hear the music, though. When you start shaking the head all you hear is rattling!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Night Creature, Pas de Duke, The River, Revelations - Alvin Ailey Chicago Program C

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Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater visits the Auditorium Theatre for 10 performances, February 28 -March 9, 2014. The company will bring three programs, each featuring different pieces from their repertoire. Learn about the pieces in Program C below!

For tickets and information, click HERE.

Night Creature/ Pas de Duke / The River / Revelations
Running time: approximately 2 hours and 15 minutes
Wednesday, Mar 5 at 7:30PM
Saturday, Mar 8 at 2PM


Night Creature - Choreography by Alvin Ailey

Alvin Ailey’s Night Creature is a bubbly champagne cocktail of a dance, a perfect fusion of Ailey’s buoyant choreography and Duke Ellington’s sparkling music.  At once wistful and sassy, it beckons viewers into a nocturnal world populated by jazz babies and night owls.
Photo by Gert Krautbauer
Ellington said that “night creatures, unlike stars, do not come OUT at night­– they come ON, each thinking that, before the night is out, he or she will be the star.” This large ensemble work is full of such stars — strutting, leaping and slinking through a variety of dance idioms as they flaunt and flirt with each other and the audience. They hold their hands like paws, as if they’re cats on the prowl, then slide seamlessly into balletic allegro jumps, Martha Graham-like contractions and Lester Horton layouts. It’s the definitive dance homage to the exuberance of The Duke’s sophisticated symphonic work.
Pas De Duke - Choreography by Alvin Ailey


Alvin Ailey's PAS DE DUKE from Alvin Ailey on Vimeo.

Pas de Duke is Alvin Ailey’s spirited modern dance translation of a classical pas de deux, originally created in 1976 as a showcase for Judith Jamison and Mikhail Baryshnikov. She was a reigning star of modern dance; he was one of the world’s most famous ballet dancers, having defected from the Soviet Union two years earlier. Ailey made brilliant use of the dancers’ physical and stylistic differences, crafting an elegant, flirtatious work that showed off their exuberance and virtuosity as they engaged in a playful game of one-upmanship.  
The work is comprised of five solos and duets that require extraordinary technical facility, flawless timing, and strong acting skills. Since its premiere nearly 40 years ago, it has been performed by generations of dancers who have each put their own unique twist on the choreography, and it has stood the test of time in part for how perfectly it captures the timeless sophistication of Duke Ellington's jazz music.  The New York Times has praised it as “one of those special dances that lives in new ways with each new set of performers.”

The River - Choreography by Alvin Ailey


Alvin Ailey's THE RIVER from Alvin Ailey on Vimeo.

By turns muscular and lyrical, The River is a sweeping full-company work that suggests tumbling rapids and meandering streams on a journey to the sea. Ailey’s allegory of birth, life and rebirth abounds with water references, from the spinning “Vortex” solo to the romantic “Lake” duet, and from the powerful “Falls” quartet to the joyful “Giggling Rapids.” The choreography demonstrates Ailey’s admiration for classical ballet, but retains the modern and jazz influences found in all his work. “The River shows Mr. Ailey at his inventive best,” declared The New York Times.
The grandeur of the dancing is matched by the music, which was Duke Ellington’s first symphonic score written for dance. Ailey and Ellington collaborated closely on the piece.
This new production has been restaged by Associate Artistic Director Masazumi Chaya, the foremost living expert on Ailey’s repertory. He believes that the ballet feels fresh each time around because “each audience member can make a story of their own from The River. Alvin was very clever; he created something that can be applied to one’s entire life — birth, a relationship with a child, or even one’s impression of a flower. It is what the audience makes of it. It is what it means to the individual.”
Revelations – Choreography by Alvin Ailey

Alvin Ailey's REVELATIONS from Alvin Ailey on Vimeo.

Using African-American spirituals, song-sermons, gospel songs and holy blues, Alvin Ailey’s Revelations fervently explores the places of deepest grief and holiest joy in the soul. More than just a popular dance work, it has become a cultural treasure, beloved by generations of fans.Seeing Revelations for the first time or the hundredth can be a transcendent experience, with audiences cheering, singing along and dancing in their seats from the opening notes of the plaintive “I Been ’Buked” to the rousing “Wade in the Water” and the triumphant finale, “Rocka My Soul in the Bosom of Abraham.”

Ailey said that one of America’s richest treasures was the African-American cultural heritage —“sometimes sorrowful, sometimes jubilant, but always hopeful.” This enduring classic is a tribute to that tradition, born out of the choreographer’s “blood memories” of his childhood in rural Texas and the Baptist Church. But since its premiere in 1960, the ballet has been performed continuously around the globe, transcending barriers of faith and nationality, and appealing to universal emotions, making it the most widely-seen modern dance work in the world.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Journey to Bodhgaya - Cloud Gate Artistic Director & Founder Lin Hwai-min

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By Lin Hwai-min
 
Lin Hwai-min photo by Liu Chen-hsiang
I do not know when the name Bodhgaya first entered my mind. For a few years I wanted to go there badly, even if I didn't know what I would do once I got there. I only knew it was in Bodhgaya that Buddha attained his enlightenment under a bodhi tree. In the summer of 1994, when I finally had a few free days, I hurriedly booked an air ticket. Still I did not know why I had set my mind on going.

Bodhgaya was a village with only a muddy track for access. Little shops and open-air stalls gathered around the compound of Mahabodhi Temple to form a market. Constructed in the sixth century, the Mahabodhi stupa, a stone structure, was 50 meters tall. Standing in the temple courtyard, it ascended towards the blue sky. To the back of the stupa stood a bodhi tree, a fourth generation descendent in 2,500 years; its trunk spreading into infinity, and its leaves and branches shielding over mortal souls. The Diamond Seat of Buddha sat beneath the tree; a fence had been set up around it. Monks and pilgrims of different nationalities sat on the ground outside the fence. Under the guidance of the monks, the pilgrims chanted Buddhist scriptures. Between the rising and falling of the chanting, one could hear birds twittering from near and afar.

In the afternoon I would sit on the banks of the Neranjra River outside of the Temple compound and stare blankly at it. The water was muddy and seemed motionless. From time to time, a big bubble would break out and pop, to remind one of the turbulent life coursing underneath the smooth surface of the river.

I suppose that the Neranjra river which Buddha saw would have been flowing in much the same way. It was in the grove of trees on the opposite shore that Prince Siddhartha engaged in six years of ascetic practice on a daily diet of sesame seeds and a grain of wheat, at last reducing himself to skin-and-bones before realizing that this consuming desire to be enlightened was the biggest obstacle to his enlightenment.

So Prince Siddhartha accepted the offerings of a village maiden. He crossed the river to take his place in the diamond seat that destiny had prepared for him.

I stood on the river bank and marveled at Buddha's determination to cross the river.

To turn away from the world and become self-reliant, to live the life of a hermit and practice asceticism, is completion of the self. To receive, to accept another person's bodily warmth was for Buddha, at the moment of receiving, a return to the world of birth, old age, illness and death. Having crossed the river himself, Buddha would now guide humanity to cross it.

The Agama Scripture tells us that, at the time of his nirvana, Buddha did not, as popular Buddhist mythology would have us believe, take leave of the world easily. He summoned his beloved disciple, Ananda, to give him detailed instructions on his cremation and the construction of the stupa. It was too much for Ananda to bear, and he ran into the woods to cry. Buddha heard him crying and called him back to his side and comforted him. There is infinite beauty within the beauty of nirvana – the reluctance to leave, and the reluctance to let go.

On the bank of the Neranjra River, I realized for the first time in my life that Buddha was an ordinary mortal who also endured human confusion and struggle. Out of his compassion, he practiced asceticism and meditation, and pointed out to us the path of salvation. I felt warmth and was filled with love and admiration for Buddha.

I sat quietly under the bodhi tree, shoulder to shoulder with the monks. I opened my eyes, and saw sunlight coming from the top of the stupa through the branches to land directly on my forehead. My heart became full of joy; I felt a quietude that I had never experienced.

Back in Taipei, I often remembered the cool bodhi tree, and the Neranjra River that ran quietly through time. Every day the dancers of Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan meditated. I created Songs of the Wanderers with great ease, a work about practicing asceticism, the river's mildness, and the quest for quietude.


As I review this piece of work from 1994, it feels as though I am studying an entry in my diary. The memory of the journey to Budhgaya causes my heart to be overcome with joy, which I hope can be shared with the audience of Songs of the Wanderers.

For tickets and information on Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan - Songs of the Wanderers, visit the Auditorium Theatre website.

Friday, February 21, 2014

LIFT, D-Man in the Waters, Revelations - Alvin Ailey Chicago Program B

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Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater visits the Auditorium Theatre for 10 performances, February 28 -March 9, 2014. The company will bring three programs, each featuring different pieces from their repertoire. Learn about the pieces in Program B below!

For tickets and information, click HERE.

Win tickets to see Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater by entering our Facebook Contest or our Pinterest Contest.

LIFT* / D-Man in the Waters** / Revelations
Running time: approximately 1 hour and 55 minutes
Saturday, Mar 1 at 2PM
Saturday, Mar 1 at 8PM
Friday, Mar 7 at 7:30PM
Sunday, Mar 9 at 3PM 

* Chicago Premiere
** Company Premiere

Lift - Choreography by Aszure Barton



The Making of Aszure Barton's LIFT from Alvin Ailey on Vimeo.


This propulsive world premiere by in-demand choreographer Aszure Barton accentuates the vitality and physical prowess of the Ailey company. Driven by the dancers’ passion, skill and collective power, the work was created over a 5-week developmental process with the entire Company. The percussive score, composed by Curtis Macdonald, is infused with the infectious energy and heart that she observed in her initial encounters with the Ailey dancers.
Barton’s exhilarating new work, her first commission for Ailey, celebrates and challenges the dancers with its markedly intricate rhythmic patterns and mercurial structure. A much sought-after dance maker whose choreography ranges from Baryshnikov to Broadway, Barton has a style that is “vulnerable and feisty, brightly adept yet peculiar, witty and impetuously wild” (Dancemagazine).
LIFT embodies an atmosphere and energy created by our time spent together in collaboration. I feel very welcomed by the Ailey family and am honored to be working with such a wonderful group of artists. "
- Aszure Barton
D-Man in the Waters - Choreography by Bill T. Jones


Bill T. Jones' D-MAN IN THE WATERS (PART I) from Alvin Ailey on Vimeo.

In this exhilarating work by Kennedy Center Honoree, MacArthur Grant awardee and Tony Award-winner Bill T. Jones (Fela!, Spring Awakening), rigorous formalism and musicality embody resilience and triumph over loss. The piece captures the infectious energy, innocence and will to survive of a beleaguered generation, and though it deals with sorrow, it maintains a defiantly celebratory tone.
Felix Mendelssohn’s soaring Octet for Strings propels the non-stop momentum, sending the dancers hurling across the stage in a whirlwind of leaps, rolls, and slides. Jones has said that the fact that Mendelssohn was just 16 years old when he composed the work resonated strongly with him. “This piece was created when we were dealing with a lot of death,” he said. “So creating this work was for us a way of dealing with grief, by finding the joy in the music this 16-year-old boy created.”
Jones’ tour-de-force was awarded a New York Dance and Performance (“Bessie”) Award and is praised for being one of the finest examples of the post-modern dance aesthetic. The New York Times called it “a stylish, impassioned outpouring of movement.”
“In a dream you saw a way to survive and you were full of joy.”
– conceptual artist Jenny Holzer
Revelations – Choreography by Alvin Ailey


Alvin Ailey's REVELATIONS from Alvin Ailey on Vimeo.

Using African-American spirituals, song-sermons, gospel songs and holy blues, Alvin Ailey’s Revelations fervently explores the places of deepest grief and holiest joy in the soul. More than just a popular dance work, it has become a cultural treasure, beloved by generations of fans.Seeing Revelations for the first time or the hundredth can be a transcendent experience, with audiences cheering, singing along and dancing in their seats from the opening notes of the plaintive “I Been ’Buked” to the rousing “Wade in the Water” and the triumphant finale, “Rocka My Soul in the Bosom of Abraham.”

Ailey said that one of America’s richest treasures was the African-American cultural heritage —“sometimes sorrowful, sometimes jubilant, but always hopeful.” This enduring classic is a tribute to that tradition, born out of the choreographer’s “blood memories” of his childhood in rural Texas and the Baptist Church. But since its premiere in 1960, the ballet has been performed continuously around the globe, transcending barriers of faith and nationality, and appealing to universal emotions, making it the most widely-seen modern dance work in the world.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Chroma, Four Corners, Revelations - Alvin Ailey Chicago Program A

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Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater visits the Auditorium Theatre for 10 performances, February 28 -March 9, 2014. The company will bring three programs, each featuring different pieces from their repertoire. Learn about the pieces in Program A below!

For tickets and information, click HERE.

Win tickets to see Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater by entering our Facebook Contest or our Pinterest Contest.

Chroma** / Four Corners* / Revelations
Friday, Feb 28 at 7:30PM
Sunday, Mar 2 at 3PM
Thursday, Mar 6 at 7:30PM
Saturday, Mar 8 at 8PM
* Chicago Premiere
** Company Premiere

Chroma - Choreography by Wayne McGregor


Wayne McGregor's CHROMA from Alvin Ailey on Vimeo.

The groundbreaking British choreographer's contemporary ballet is full of sensory suprises: sumptuous movement, a driving score by Joby Talbot with orchestrations of songs by The White Stripes, and a luminous set by minimalist architect John Pawson.

“Often in my own choreographies I have actively conspired to disrupt the spaces in which the body performs. Each intervention, usually some kind of addition, is an attempt to see the context of the body in a new or alien way. On reading John Pawson’s Minimum I was captivated by this notion of subtraction, the ‘essential’ space, which seems to reduce elements to make visible the invisible. Intriguingly, although Pawson’s designs do give definition to space(s), they are somehow always boundary-less. This potential ‘freedom space’ would be an extraordinary environment for a new choreography, where the grammar and articulation of the body is made crystal clear, graphic and unmediated. It could be a space where the body becomes absolutely architectural. At the same time, in creating volume(s) of tone for the choreography to inhabit the body can behave as a frequency of colour – in freedom from white: CHROMA."

“I heard Joby Talbot’s Hovercraft piece for orchestra and felt its immediate physical impact – visceral, unsettling, hungry and direct. These short five minutes became our keystone to unlocking a strangely seductive score that tensions the aggressive force of the White Stripes with the enigmatic beauty of Talbot’s own compositions.” -Wayne McGregor

Four Corners - Choreography by Ronald K. Brown


Ronald K. Brown's FOUR CORNERS from Alvin Ailey on Vimeo.

In Ronald K. Brown’s Four Corners, 11 dancers depict spiritual seekers amid four angels standing on the corners of the earth, holding the four winds. In creating his fifth commission for the Ailey company since 1999, the celebrated choreographer turned to the song “Lamentations” by his friend, recording artist Carl Hancock Rux. Drawing from West African and modern dance influences, Brown uses grounded, earthy movements to portray figures who are burdened by grief but ultimately find peace, solace, and freedom with the aid of “the angels in their corners” mentioned in Rux’s text.

While Four Corners is not a literal interpretation of Rux’s lyrics, Brown drew inspiration from the text to manifest storytelling through choreography. Brown expressed his love for poems, stating: “There’s something about the rhythm, and something about the richness of the spoken word that goes right into my heart. When I’m dreaming about movement or seeing movement, poetry comes out.” Though the friendship between Brown and Rux began decades ago, Four Corners provided the first opportunity for choreographer and composer to create a dance work together.

Halfway through the work, there is a palpable shift in energy as the music changes to an undulating, pulsing lullaby by North African vocalist Yacoub, indicating that the winds of change are blowing. Brown also makes use of music by Rahsaan Roland Kirk. Costume designer Omotayo “Wunmi” Olaiya, a long-time collaborator, created flowing garb in rich purples, grays, and blacks. The New Yorker recently hailed Brown as “the choreographer best able to give the virtuosic dancers of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater works as powerful as their technique. His compositions are hard to resist.”

The ballet is inspired by text from recording artist Carl Hancock Rux’s "Lamentations":

Away they fall
All who stand
At the four corners of the earth
With blades and sheaths
These

Yours is simply this

Command and stand up
Stand
You are beautiful
And lovely
Beautiful and lovely

Revelations – Choreography by Alvin Ailey


Alvin Ailey's REVELATIONS from Alvin Ailey on Vimeo.

Using African-American spirituals, song-sermons, gospel songs and holy blues, Alvin Ailey’s Revelations fervently explores the places of deepest grief and holiest joy in the soul. More than just a popular dance work, it has become a cultural treasure, beloved by generations of fans.Seeing Revelations for the first time or the hundredth can be a transcendent experience, with audiences cheering, singing along and dancing in their seats from the opening notes of the plaintive “I Been ’Buked” to the rousing “Wade in the Water” and the triumphant finale, “Rocka My Soul in the Bosom of Abraham.”

Ailey said that one of America’s richest treasures was the African-American cultural heritage —“sometimes sorrowful, sometimes jubilant, but always hopeful.” This enduring classic is a tribute to that tradition, born out of the choreographer’s “blood memories” of his childhood in rural Texas and the Baptist Church. But since its premiere in 1960, the ballet has been performed continuously around the globe, transcending barriers of faith and nationality, and appealing to universal emotions, making it the most widely-seen modern dance work in the world.

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