The event

This is your chance to witness an iconic masterpiece of American dance, Alvin Ailey’s Revelations, described by The New York Times as “one of the great works of the human spirit.” This stunning, soulful tour de force draws on African-American spirituals, song-sermons, gospel songs and holy blues. The wide-ranging influences and irrepressible passion of Revelations are evident across the rest of this electrifying programme, which features Wayne McGregor’s sumptuous Chroma, set to a score by Joby Talbot with orchestrations of songs by The White Stripes; Ronald K. Brown’s Grace, a powerful meeting of modern and West African dance with a soundtrack by Duke Ellington, Roy Davis and Fela Kuti; and Robert Battle’s humorous, high-flying Takademe.

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s production of RevelationsChromaGrace, and Takademe is supported by a grant from the Howard Gilman Foundation.

Filmed on 16 and 18 June 2015 at David H. Koch Theater, New York City
For Lincoln Center at the Movies: Great American Dance 

Running time: 101 minutes
Certificate: U

The ground-breaking British choreographer Wayne McGregor’s contemporary ballet is full of sensory surprises: sumptuous movement, rock music played by an orchestra, and a luminous set by minimalist architect John Pawson.

One of the most popular works in the Ailey repertory, Ronald K. Brown’s spellbinding Grace depicts individuals on a journey to the promised land.  This spiritually-charged work offers a rapturous blend of modern dance and West African idioms.

Ailey Artistic Director Robert Battle’s bravura work mixes humour 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.

Alvin Ailey’s signature work was born out of the choreographer’s ‘blood memories’ of his childhood in rural Texas and the Baptist church. Since its premiere in 1960, Revelations 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.

Photo credit: Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in Alvin Ailey’s Revelations (©Christopher Duggan).