Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater Analysis

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Watching Revelations produced by the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater is a much different experience than seeing a production of Shakespeare’s Richard III. Both performances interact with history, yet the messages associated with one performance do not necessarily apply with the other. This could be due to the genre of performance, dance and theater, or it could be the targeted audiences, black spectators and white spectators. However, another reason for these different experiences is centered in the way each performance interacts with history. Revelations invokes a troubled African and Black history, while Richard III is a tale about the treacherous monarchy of, then, England. The relationship between black performance and black history has been analyzed repeatedly in the discipline of Black Performance Studies, the main question being: what is this black performance conveying to its audience about black history? Consequently, a host of questions follow about the avenues…show more content…
Kin-Seer says, “But my uther me was waving at my Self. My uther me was waving at uh black black speck in thuh middle of thuh sea where years uhgoh from uh boat I had been—UUH!...Jettisoned” (Parks 38). Kin-Seer being jettisoned represents the way ancestry and genealogy was thrown overboard, and that is why there is a gap in black and Pan-African history. In The Tragicomedy of Slavery in Suzan-Lori Parks’s Early Plays, an essay by Glenda Carpio, Carpio introduces the notion of dispossession. Carpio describes slavery “as a form of dispossession based on racism” (201). The descendants of black slaves were dispossessed of their African ancestry and much of their early American genealogy. There was a lapse in the written and oral records that make tracing a black person’s “roots” difficult to virtually impossible. In this way, Parks acknowledges the lost black genealogy and

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