Revelations

(1960)
 
Choreographer: Alvin Ailey
Music: Traditional
 
Alvin Ailey’s timeless masterpiece Revelations has become one of the most well-known and respected ballets in the history of dance, acclaimed as a must-see for all and recognized by a U.S. Senate resolution.  Using African-American spirituals, song-sermons, gospel songs and holy blues, this suite fervently explores the places of deepest grief and holiest joy in the soul.   Alvin Ailey said that one of America’s richest treasures was the cultural heritage of the African-American—“sometimes sorrowful, sometimes jubilant, but always hopeful.”   Springing from Ailey’s childhood “blood memories” of growing up in rural Texas and attending services at Mount Olive Baptist Church, Revelations is a tribute to the cultural heritage of the African-American and to Alvin Ailey’s genius.  Since its premiere in 1960, this enduring classic has been seen by more audiences around the world than any other modern work, universally inspiring with its transcendent exploration of the human condition.

Featured News Releases

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater Presents Two Thrilling Programs At BAM (Brooklyn Academy Of Music), June 4-9, 2024

BROOKLYN, NY - May 15, 2024 - BAM is excited to welcome back the iconic Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater celebrating its 65th anniversary, June 4-9, bringing its kinetic energy and dazzling technique with two exuberant programs: "Contemporary Visions" - featuring pieces by renowned choreographers Alonzo King, Jamar Roberts, and Hans van Manen; and "All Ailey" - which includes Ailey's must-see masterpiece, Revelations.

Portrait Of Ailey, A New Eight-Part Documentary Series Available For Free On PBS LearningMedia

NEW YORK – February 29, 2024 – The compelling story of the life, work, and legacy of dancer and choreographer Alvin Ailey, founder of the renowned Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, is the subject of Portrait of Ailey, a new eight-part documentary series premiering in February 2024, during Black History Month, and rolling out through September on PBS LearningMedia, a free website with thousands of classroom-ready resources for preK-12 teachers. The series was created by Sylvia Waters, director emerita of the Ailey II company, with archivist Dominique Singer and adapted for use on PBS LearningMedia by The WNET Group’s Kids’ Media & Education team. Portrait of Ailey uses rare historical film and still images as well as contemporary footage to create a sweeping narrative of Mr. Ailey as a performer, choreographer, celebrity, teacher, social activist, arts advocate, and creator of an enduring institution that is currently celebrating its 65th anniversary.

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater 2024 United States Tour Brings Celebratory 65th Anniversary Season To 21 Cities, January 25 - May 12 With Exciting New Works And Alvin Ailey's Timeless Revelations

NEW YORK – January 24, 2024 — After an acclaimed 65th Anniversary season launch in New York City, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater – beloved as one of the world’s most popular dance companies – will continue to grace stages during a 21-city United States tour starting January 25 in Atlanta and continues coast-to-coast to cities like Washington, D.C., Miami, Boston, Chicago, Houston and Los Angeles, before culminating with a Mother’s Day performance in Newark on May 12. The passionate spirit and extraordinary technique of Ailey’s dancers will be showcased in a diverse repertory of new works, repertory favorites, and Ailey classics.

Featured Press Coverage

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Thirteen - Connecting Dancer Alvin Ailey’s Life Story With Classrooms

Acclaimed choreographer Alvin Ailey infused his life story and Black cultural roots into his modern dance works, which have been enjoyed by millions since he first founded Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in 1958 in New York City. Early dances such as Revelations remain favorites in the company repertory today, but many people don’t know the background of the artist, who died in 1989.

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Houston CityBook - In Homecoming Show, Isabel Wallace-Green Dances Her Way Back To Jones Hall With Alvin Ailey Company

Houston-born dancer and arts educator Isabel Wallace-Green vividly recalls seeing a performance of Alvin Ailey’s landmark 1960 dance work Revelations as a child, peering over a high balcony in Jones Hall. “The dancers were pretty small!” laughs Wallace-Green, who nevertheless was captivated, especially by a section in Revelations titled “Wade in the Water,” where translucent white, cobalt, and aquamarine cloths are stretched across the stage to evoke baptismal waters and — for African American slaves — the riverbed as a pathway to freedom. “I’d never seen anything like that.”