In light of one of the most polarized presidential elections of my lifetime, I think one thing all Americans can agree on is that art remains timeless. A moment to put your mind in a space that it is unfamiliar but naturally comfortable is something we all need as humans. Art helps us make sense of what doesn’t make sense, even if that still does not seem logical.
The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre gave me an experience that brought light to the world outside of the theater doors. The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater has been around for decades, starting in New York, to create more opportunity for dancers of different backgrounds. The “Ailey Jazz” performance took place at Atlanta’s Fox Theatre on Thursday, Feb. 16. The dancers embodied the music and movement in a way that kept the audience glued to the stage. The show opened with “The Winter In Lisbon,” danced by Constance Stamatiou and Yannick Lebrun. There were plenty of awe moments as the pair moved together to tell stories of love, understanding and more.
An audience of all ages and backgrounds filled the rows of the glamorous Fox Theatre. The reflection of the twinkling lights on the dancers made the experience even more enticing. The dancers told stories of amazing African-American musicians and artists who are still relevant to us today. “Ella” was choreographed by Robert Battle and paid tribute to the timeless voice of Ella Fitzgerald.
The Company also danced to a riveting spoken word poem by Leslie Odom, Jr., as an ode to Martin Luther King Jr. that kept me thinking, even as we were leaving the theatre. The piece “r-Evolution, Dream” is one of the few new additions to the company that we were able to see that night, choreographed by Hope Boykin.
My experience at an Ailey performance is one I will never forget. It reminded me how beautiful and united we can be, not only Americans but as a human race when it comes to being emotionally connected to similar struggles. The company closed with “Revelations,” their world-renowned piece. “Revelations” was first choreographed by Alvin Ailey more than 50 years ago and continues to amaze audiences today. Being my third time seeing the show, the signature piece was nothing short of magical. The changing scenery and sudden changes in the choreography is always intriguing to watch and feel. Although it was choreographed in 1960, long before most of us were even born, I still saw the strength and struggle in our country spanning from the civil rights era to current social injustice movements. Whether you are 5 or 500 years old, everyone should experience a night of unapologetic art at an Alvin Ailey show.
Destine is a junior at Mays High School and a professional workaholic. I also write for the amazing VOX Teen Communications.