We have to write a review about this theather. please find this play online. This is the info:
Originally shown in cinemas as part of the series, Lincoln Center at the Movies: Great American Dance, this recorded performance contains four unique pieces interspersed with short interviews of some of the artists from Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.
This 2015 broadcast features Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater performing a lush program teeming with grace and power. Alvin Ailey’s Revelations, described by The New York Times as “one of the great works of the human spirit,“ is a soulful masterpiece that draws on African-American spirituals, gospel songs, and holy blues. Wayne McGregor’s sumptuous Chroma features orchestrations of songs by The White Stripes, and Ronald K. Brown’s Grace draws on modern and West African dance with music by Duke Ellington, Roy Davis, and Fela Kuti. Rounding out the program is Robert Battle’s humorous, high-flying Takademe.
About Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre
Alvin Ailey – Photo by Eric N. Hong
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater grew from a now-fabled performance in March 1958 at the 92nd Street Y in New York City. Led by Alvin Ailey and a group of young African-American modern dancers, that performance changed forever the perception of American dance.
The Ailey company has gone on to perform for an estimated 25 million people at theaters in 48 states and 71 countries on six continents – as well as millions more through television broadcasts, film screenings, and online platforms.
In 2008, a U.S. Congressional resolution designated the Company as “a vital American cultural ambassador to the world” that celebrates the uniqueness of the African-American cultural experience and the preservation and enrichment of the American modern dance heritage. When Mr. Ailey began creating dances, he drew upon his “blood memories” of Texas, the blues, spirituals, and gospel as inspiration, which resulted in the creation of his most popular and critically acclaimed work, Revelations. Although he created 79 ballets over his lifetime, Mr. Ailey maintained that his company was not exclusively a repository for his own work.
Today, the Company continues Mr. Ailey’s mission by presenting important works of the past and commissioning new ones. In all, more than 235 works by over 90 choreographers have been part of the Ailey company’s repertory.
Before his untimely death in 1989, Alvin Ailey named Judith Jamison as his successor, and over the next 21 years, she brought the Company to unprecedented success. Ms. Jamison, in turn, personally selected Robert Battle to succeed her in 2011, and The New York Times declared he “has injected the company with new life.”
About the Pieces
The groundbreaking British choreographer’s contemporary ballet is full of sensory surprises: 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
CHOREOGRAPHER – Wayne McGregor
PREMIERE – Company: 2013, World: 2006
RESTAGING – Antoine Vereecken
MUSIC – Joby Talbot, The White Stripes
SET DESIGN – John Pawson
COSTUMES – Moritz Junge
LIGHTING – Lucy Carter
One of the most popular works in the Ailey repertory, Ronald K. Brown’s spellbinding Grace is a fervent tour-de-force depicting individuals on a journey to the promised land. Described by The New York Times as “astounding, something to be sensed as well as seen,” this spiritually-charged work is a rapturous blend of modern dance and West African idioms. As in many of Brown’s works, the movement alternates fluidly between extremes, with eruptions of power coupled with lightness. A serene solo for an angel-like figure in white gives way to fireball intensity as 12 dancers resembling urban warriors execute Brown’s whirling, pounding choreography, arms and legs slicing the air and fingers pointing to the sky.
Brown’s varied music choices closely reflect the heart of the work, with the spiritual grounding of Duke Ellington’s Come Sunday, the contemporary yet timeless house music vibe of Roy Davis’ “Gabriel,” and the West African and African-American traditions of Fela Kuti’s Afro-Pop beats.
CHOREOGRAPHER – Ronald K. Brown
PREMIERE – Company: New York City Center, 1999; World: New York City Center, 1999
ASSISTANTS TO CHOREOGRAPHER – Angelica Patterson, Telly Fowler
MUSIC – Duke Ellington, Roy Davis, Fela Anikulapo Kuti
COSTUMES – Omatayo Wunmi Olaiya
LIGHTING – William H. Grant III
Robert Battle’s bravura work mixes humor and high-flying movement in a savvy deconstruction of Indian Kathak dance rhythms. Clear shapes and propulsive jumps mimic the vocalized syllables of Sheila Chandra’s syncopated score.
For Battle, the work represents his modest beginnings as a dance-maker and reminds him of how far he’s come. He created Takademe while still a dancer with the Parsons Dance Company, in a living room in Queens, New York. “Most dances have a lot to do with restrictions and problem-solving,” he explains. “And one of the problems was that we didn’t have a lot of space, so the dance stays very stationary. But then when we finally got studio space… the movement travels on a long diagonal. Freedom. I’m always reminded of that as a metaphor for where I am now with Ailey, where there is a remarkable amount of space.”
It’s unlikely that the young choreographer in that Queens apartment could have imagined the distinguished company he’d find himself in when critics embraced his work.
…one can add Battle’s name to the list of brilliant solo choreographers such as Isadora Duncan, Ruth St. Denis, and Ted Shawn – THE LOS ANGELES TIMES
CHOREOGRAPHER – Robert Battle
PREMIERE – Company: Deutsche Oper, Berlin, 2011, World: 1999
MUSIC – “Speaking in Tongues II” performed by Sheila Chandra
COSTUMES – Original design by Missoni/ Re-design by Jon Taylor
LIGHTING – Burke Wilmore
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.
CHOREOGRAPHER – Alvin Ailey
RUN TIME36 Minutes
PREMIERE – Company: New York, Kaufman Concert Hall, 92nd Street YM-YWHM, 1960, World: New York, Kaufman Concert Hall, 92nd Street YM-YWHM, 1960
COSTUMES – Costumes for Rocka My Soul section redesigned by Barbara Forbes
DÉCOR & COSTUMES – Original décor and costumes by Lawrence Maldonado; Revival décor and costumes by Ves Harper
LIGHTING – Nicola Cernovitch
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
Chroma, Grace, Takademe, Revelations (2015). Lincoln Center at Home. Web.
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre. https://www.alvinailey.org/
Your review should be in the form of a five-paragraph persuasive essay and should include an introduction, three body paragraphs, and a conclusion.
While there is no official review length requirement, these review assignments should be at least roughly 400-600 words in length or more.
If you choose to use outside sources in order to strengthen your opinions and positions, be sure to cite them properly.
Please double-space your reviews.
Be sure to include your name in an assignment heading.
Upload your review as a .docx, .doc, .pdf.
Introduction: Hook The introductory sentence grabs the reader’s attention. The introductory paragraph contains information about the name, time, and location of the performance being reviewed. Introduction: Thesis Statement The thesis statement is an argument (not merely an indisputable statement of fact), and it is clearly and concisely stated. Introduction: Outline The introduction contains a sentence (or sentences) that preview(s) the three main points that will be used to support the thesis statement. Body Paragraph #1: Topic Sentence The topic sentence clearly states the first main point used to support the thesis statement. Body Paragraph #1: Evidence The main point is supported with at least two specific, detailed examples from the performance. Body Paragraph #2: Topic Sentence The topic sentence clearly states the second main point used to support the thesis statement. Body Paragraph #2: Evidence The main point is supported with at least two specific, detailed examples from the performance. Body Paragraph #3: Topic Sentence The topic sentence clearly states the third main point used to support the thesis statement. Paragraph #3: Evidence The main point is supported with at least two specific, detailed examples from the performance. Conclusion The concluding paragraph restates the thesis statement and main arguments and brings the review to an effective close. Mechanics The review is free of errors in spelling, grammar, and punctuation. Style The review utilizes smooth transitions, effective use of language, and an appropriate essay structure. Outline of a Review Assignment I. Opening Paragraph A. First sentence should be the HOOK 1. An interesting and compelling hook will result in 2 points 2. A boring hook will result in 1 point 3. “On October 12 I attended Camelot…” is NOT a hook and will result in 0 points B. State your thesis. (This is your overall opinion of the performance) C. Mention the 3 topics of your following paragraphs D. Make sure to include what performance you saw, when and where in the 1st paragraph. II. First Topic Paragraph A. The 1st sentence should be your topic sentence B. Give 2 specific examples from the performance you saw that support your topic sentence III. Second Topic Paragraph A. The 1st sentence should be your topic sentence B. Give 2 specific examples from the performance you saw that support your topic sentence IV. Third Topic Paragraph A. The 1st sentence should be your topic sentence B. Give 2 specific examples from the performance you saw that support your topic sentence V. Conclusion Paragraph A. Restate your thesis B. Restate your 3 topics C. Have a conclusion sentence that “wraps everything up” Some other things to check: Make sure your name, class and section are on the paper Avoid generic phrases like: it was good, I liked it, etc. Do not tell us the plot (storyline of the play or performance); you may mention that you did or did not like the plot (and give specific reasons) but you will not receive credit if you only tell us “this happened, then this happened, then that happened…” You do not have to like the performance—you may dislike the performance, or you may have a mixed reaction—that is fine, just support your feelings with examples from the show you saw. Make sure that you don’t recycle your own writing (or anyone else’s) from one review to the next. Each review that you write should be original and unique, just as every performance is unique. Make sure that the topics you talk about in the Opening Paragraph and the Conclusion Paragraph are the same topics. Also, these topics should be the topic sentence (and the 1st sentence) of the each respective topic paragraph. You can restate the topics in different ways, but they should at the core be the same ideas. Your review should be in the form of a five-paragraph persuasive essay and should include an introduction, three body paragraphs, and a conclusion. While there is no official review length requirement, these review assignments should be at least roughly 400-600 words in length or more. There is no need to use outside sources when writing your review assignments, and you should generally steer clear of relying on sources outside of yourself for these assignments since the assignments about your personal opinion. However, if you use an outside source in your review, be sure to cite it properly. Please double-space your reviews. Be sure to include your name in an assignment heading. Upload your review as a .docx, .doc, or .pdf. Content & Structure Writing Reviews of Performing Arts Events First and foremost, it’s important to note that this course takes into account that our students come from a variety of backgrounds when it comes to the performing arts and to this kind of writing. Some of you may be exploring this field for the very first time and some of you may have been exposed to the performing arts your whole life. Either way, your reactions to and opinions about your experiences with this semester’s performances are all valid and valuable. Don’t think that a lack of experience will prevent you from having valuable insight or from doing well on these assignments. What we’re looking for here is really quite simple: Your opinions about the performances and the specific reasons you have those opinions. A review of a performing arts event is simply the presentation of your opinion about what you have seen, heard, and experienced. The reader either wants to know what happened at the event or, if they also saw the show, is interested in what someone else thought about it. Reviews are not formal scholarly papers and, consequently, can – and should – be written as “personal essays.” However, you need to remember that your potential readers are interested in your reactions, insights, and observations about the show more than simply whether you liked or didn’t like it. You also need to remember that they are not interested in a descriptive rehash of the event…they are interested in a thoughtful evaluation not a plot summary. To guide you toward that goal and to help you structure your thoughts and opinions, your review assignments this semester should all take the form of a five-paragraph essay with an introduction, three body paragraphs, and a conclusion. Don’t let the term “essay” scare you. The structure doesn’t exist to intimidate you but rather to give you a simple framework for expressing your thoughts successfully. Below, you will find information about each of the sections your review should contain. The Introduction In the opening paragraph, it is customary to include the name, place, and time of the event you are reviewing. You should identify those responsible for the event and give a brief indication of the content of the show. You should do this briefly with no digressions. The introduction paragraph should include a statement of your overall impression of the event, which is your thesis. Typically, your overall opinion will fall into one of three categories: (1) unequivocal praise (it was simply great), (2) unequivocal criticism (it was a disaster), or (3) a mixed opinion (some things worked well, but others did not). Your introduction should also include a sentence or sentences that give an overview of the three main topics that your review is going to discuss (outline sentence). It is always best to find a clever and interesting way of beginning your opening paragraph (hook). You need to capture the audience’s attention and interest right from the very first sentence. Here’s an example from a dance review by Deborah Jowitt in The Village Voice: “Some dancegoers crave movement that’s difficult and exciting – maybe aggressively sexy. Some need a drama they can relate to, but one that’s also racier or more colorful than anything in their daily lives. Audiences who saw recent works by Maguy Marin got neither. Marin’s startling Umwelt presents performers in an endless cycle of everyday acts, some of them you’d rather your neighbors didn’t see.” Here’s another, a theatre review by Michael Feingold, also in The Village Voice: “What are beautiful people? Are they humans like the rest of us, or are they more like well-made objects – better gazed at than spoken to? This is the question driving Katalina Mustatea’s new play, The Model, a confusing parable of obsession and stiletto heels, in which an unlucky couple discovers an “abandoned model” on Houston Street, and adopts her – with disastrous results.” The Body of the Review The most important part of the review is your explanation of why you felt the show was a success, a failure, or somewhere in between (mixed opinion). You won’t be able to cover every aspect of the show, so select the three most important features that shaped your opinion. Discuss only one aspect of the event in each paragraph and don’t digress. Begin each paragraph by stating why this aspect of the show was important in shaping your opinion (topic sentence). Then explain why you felt the way you did, introduce evidence from the show, and argue how that evidence shaped your reaction. Your review’s body paragraphs can discuss a variety of topics. The best thing to do is to think about your overall reaction to the performance (Did you like it? Did you hate it? Did you feel it was somewhere in the middle?) Then think about the three main reasons you feel that way. These three reasons become the topics of your three body paragraphs. While the components of each performance this semester will be different, here are some example topics that you could consider (if they’re present in that performance): Acting (Which actors stood out, in a good or bad way, and what parts of the performance made you think that?) Music (Which songs or pieces did you appreciate or detest the most and why? What are the song titles or what were they about, or what did they sound like, etc.? This can work when the music is the focus but also when background music may be used.) Dance/Movement (Which moments or pieces did you like or dislike and why?) Scenic Design (What parts of the background scenery or set pieces did you find impressive or lacking? What did they look like? When/how were they used?) Lighting Design (Did the lighting design of the performance affect your opinion? How and when was it used effectively?) Costume Design (If the performers wore costumes or clothing that affected your opinion of the performance, describe the costumes and how/when they were used to affect your opinion.) Audience Interaction/Engagement (Did the performers interact with their audience in a way that improved or worsened the performance? How and when?) Comedy/Humor (If present, when and how was it used effectively or not effectively?) Culture and Connection (Did the performance do a good job of expressing its culture – jazz culture, dance culture, etc.- and how did it connect with you? Was there anything in your own cultural background that helped you to connect or prevented you from connecting?) Recording/Technology (Did the way that the performance was recorded and/or edited have an impact on your experience? How so? Were there advantages or disadvantages?) Your review assignments should NOT include: Extensive biographical information about the performers A plot summary or simple description of the story or events that happened in the performance A rehash of the background materials for that performance Opinions, thoughts, or writing about the performance that aren’t your own. When writing your body paragraphs, try to be as specific and as concise as possible. Here’s an example from a theatre review by Charles Isherwood in The New York Times of a play called Taking Flight that was about famous aviation pioneers – Amelia Earhardt, Charles Lindberg, and the Wright brothers: “Certainly one doesn’t go to Hamlet expecting to see things work out for the best. But because the focus of Taking Flight is shared among three separate stories, there isn’t a lot of time for the authors to unearth fresh dimensions in any one of them. The dramatization of Earhart’s evolving relationship with her publisher, George Putnam (Michael Cumpsty), who finances her first transatlantic flight just to sell books and later pursues her hand in marriage, comes closest to finding new insights into character. But even this story line pales into cliché, becoming the familiar tale of a woman seeking liberation from the constricting roles imposed on her.” In a review, the use of evidence is key. In the above example, Charles Isherwood writes, “But because the focus of Taking Flight is shared among three separate stories, there isn’t a lot of time for the authors to unearth fresh dimensions in any one of them.” He has expressed an opinion, but we need evidence in support of that opinion to understand why he feels the way he does. He says that the Amelia Earhardt story “comes closest to finding new insights into character,” but goes on to say, “But even this story line pales into cliché, becoming the familiar tale of a woman seeking liberation from the constricting roles imposed on her.” He gives his opinion and then backs it up with evidence from the show. Remember, the reader is less concerned with how you felt than with why you felt that way and what in the performance accounted for your reaction. No matter the topics you choose to discuss, each of your three body paragraphs should have at least two such examples of evidence. Conclusion Typically, in the closing paragraph, you should offer a short conclusion that represents your overall opinion (thesis) and briefly restates your arguments (body paragraphs). You should also have a sentence that effectively brings your review to a close. Final Thoughts Here are a few things to keep in mind: It is customary in a review to avoid overusing the word “I”. It is understood that a review is the opinion of the reviewer, so it is not important to remind the reader that you are expressing your own thoughts. More importantly, the reader is interested in the event and what happened – or didn’t happen – at that event to shape your opinion. Move your focus away from yourself and to the event in order to let the reader know and understand how and why the event caused you to have whatever opinions you might have. It is also customary in a review to identify the people involved as you discuss them. For example: Sutton Foster, who plays Reno Sweeney in the current revival of Anything Goes, has the voice of a trumpet and a big, gleaming presence that floods the house. When she leads the show-stopping ‘Blow, Gabriel, Blow,’ you figure that if no horn-tooting archangel appears, it’s only because he’s afraid of the competition. As the more complicated Claude Bukowski, Paris Remillard exudes youthful good nature tempered by hints of inner conflict. You do not need to identify everyone in the production, but you should identify those artists you discuss when possible. Again: remember that the purpose of the review is not simply to describe the event or the background to it. Your primary task is to let the reader know how you felt about the event, why you felt that way, and assess the relative success or failure of the event as a performance. On the following page, you will find an outline that helps illustrate the structure that your review assignments should follow.