Dance Masterclass with Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater | Trailer

Dance Masterclass with Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater | Trailer

I’m Alvin Ailey. I’m a choreographer. I’m a black man whose roots are in the sun, and the dirt of the South. If you were dancing, and you were African American, my God did you have a lot to say! Because your story wasn’t being told. We’re really celebrating human beings and we’re trying to make an identification with a black past who dance. By having one of the first modern dance repertory companies, he made sure that many voices would be celebrated. Not just dancers, but choreographers and collaborators. He knew what that truth was about and he was unafraid to reveal it. Revelations, I think forever, will continue to take dancers into places that they didn’t think they could journey to. And take audiences with them, no matter what religion you are, race, colour, creed, anything. You sit and you watch that ballet, and then you know what it’s like to be human. Dance comes from the people and should always be delivered back to the people. That’s what Mr. Ailey was all about. Mr. Ailey he wanted us to come through, not as cookie cutter dancers, but as individuals. Someone else might have a higher leg, a more accentuated foot, even a smaller waistline, but that doesn’t negate what you can bring to the stage. Before I got in the company, I thought dance was just fun, and it is, but dancing, it really is hard work. Especially in this company. We have different choreographers, we have different styles and different genres that we have to uphold. My new work, entitled Lazarus, is about the idea of this sort of spirit reincarnating itself into a difference existence. It’s more or less a reflection of Mr. Ailey’s life. Not fully, I wouldn’t say a biographical work or anything, mostly more or less inspired by his experiences and things that he saw or things that he dealt with. There is this through line of somebody walking through, somebody not quite at rest, at peace, as it goes through this journey. The narrative is embodied in the character in Lazarus that he sees as the Alvin Ailey character, who’s walking through. Mr. Ailey’s history is very universal because of the era that he grew up in. Universal being, African American history, our history and experience here in the country. Part of that history of his story, is my story, regarding racism. So he had to endure a lot of discrimination, so I feel like this is my story.

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