Cultural Analysis of Alvin Ailey's Revelations

In: Other Topics

Submitted By rachelglenice
Words 2885
Pages 12
CMST 3300

April 21, 2013

Ailey, Revelations, & Their Legacy

One may ask why a dance company’s founder, most renowned piece in its repertoire, and the impact it had on the world would be a subject worthy of a historical and cultural analysis. It is because dance, and a society’s reaction to it, are important and cultural indicators. As a part of culture, dance is both acted upon by other aspects of a society and acts upon those same aspects. Because dance is a part of culture, it is subject to the same forces of change as any other aspect of culture. Therefore, social change, both great and small, can be seen in the dance created by a society. Much about change in dance form and culture is applicable to culture change in general. In some cases, dance is a readily observable microcosm of what is happening in the larger social and cultural context. For these reasons, dance is a valid indicator of collective people’s experience within a society and can be used as a historical tool to aid in the understanding of social change. Dance is a form of communication; it is body language taken to a greater extreme. In all societies, the physical interaction between people can be as important, if not more important, than the verbal and written communication, which takes place. Dance is this physical interaction, this body language, intensified. As with other expressions in a society, dance tends to be a testament of values, beliefs, attitudes and emotions. Dance, like other arts is a medium through which the creator and performer can express themselves to the audience. How dance communicates lies in the kinesthetic and the multisensory nature of dance. Dance is an autonomic system with multisensory immediacy that causes excitement, fear, and pleasure for performers and observers. Dance is couched in social situations and belief systems generating energy and…...

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