Alvin Ailey and "Blood Memories"



(SOURCE: New York Times) Members of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater perform “Revelations” nearly as often as ordinary people brush their teeth. This magnificent work, created by Alvin Ailey in 1960, is a dance on land and in water, a journey through African-American spiritual music and, for dancers, an act of reverence for the generations that came before.

“It doesn’t matter how tired I am,” said Briana Reed, a company member since 1998. “As soon as the music starts, I feel myself transported to another place.”

Told in three sections —“Pilgrim of Sorrow,” “Take Me to the Water” and “Move, Members, Move” — Ailey’s burning exploration of grief and joy celebrates its 50th anniversary on Wednesday at City Center. As part of the season-long commemoration, the troupe’s artistic director, Judith Jamison, will conduct performances on Friday and Saturday nights. “It’s like a port de bras for me,” she said. “It’s just so easy to breathe with that music.”

Recently Ms. Jamison and a few others fleshed out crucial moments of the dance. “It means the world to me to have done that ballet,” she said. “It’s a classic work, and it will remain in my body.”

‘I Been ’Buked’ From ‘Pilgrim of Sorrow’

Ms. Jamison calls “ ’Buked,” above, the ultimate prayer. “I always tell the dancers, ‘If you’re not sweating after you do that, then you haven’t done it correctly,’ ” she said. “That is a hard dance to do, to give it the sense of {CONTINUED}

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