African American Heritage

This brief overview of the famous dance piece entitled, Revelations choreographed by Alvin Ailey, highlights the aspects of African American Heritage. Ailey choreographed the entirety of Revelations in the year 1960. As American history recalls, this was a very crucial time for African Americans who were fighting against society for civil rights and equality. Ailey made this piece because he wanted to show the American people that African Americans were too stereotyped and misunderstood. The dance technique he uses strays away from traditional modern and ballet styles and instead calls attention to the way African Americans move their bodies and are able to dance. The musical choice for the various pieces center around gospel and spiritual music. Each section of Revelations reflects African American heritage by showing the different personalities they possess. African American life was generally difficult during this time era, but it was this dance piece that made Americans see the talent in African Americans that they were blind to. The general American audience opened up more to the idea of seeing African Americans performing dance on a stage. Revelations was a good example of portraying what African Americans felt and experienced; they mourned through difficult times, were joyous in good times, and hopeful for new beginnings and opportunities.


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