Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater perform Revelations
1960 piece set for Edinburgh Festival Theatre
A visit from Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater guarantees a number of things. Great dancing, interesting choreography, uplifting music and, of course, Revelations. Choreographed by Ailey in 1960, the piece is a unique calling card performed at the end of every triple-bill the company performs.
Set to music that is at turns moving and uplifting, Revelations tells of African-American tenacity and faith, from slavery to freedom. It also offers audiences yet another guarantee - that you’ll leave the theatre smiling. Erstwhile fans of the Ailey company will inevitably have seen the work many times yet rarely, if ever, do they grow tired of it.
But what about the dancers? Does performing the same work night after night ever get dull? ‘Revelations is like the heartbeat of the company,’ says Linda Sims, a dancer with Ailey since 1995. ‘Every time I approach it, I know there’s something else I want to work on. It has so much meaning behind it that it’s impossible to get tired of.’
On this occasion, the company will also perform Judith Jamison’s homage to Ailey, Hymn and Christopher Huggins emotive Moby-set tribute to both Ailey and Jamison, Anointed. Safe to say, there’s a lot of love in the room. Especially when Revelations comes to its joyful close.
‘We’ll perform Revelations in China, Japan, Greece – it doesn’t matter where we are, people are standing up at the end,’ says Sims. ‘No matter what religion you are or if you’re an atheist, you just feel it. The moment the music comes on, it takes people to a different level.’
Edinburgh Festival Theatre, Tue 19 & Wed 20 Oct