Last night a group of the girls on my hall and I went to see Alvin Ailey at the Music Hall. For those of you who don’t already know, Alvin Ailey’s American Dance Theater is a wonderful tribute and portrayal of the African experience in America and also just a phenomenal group in general.
The town where we saw them is the official second home of this group that hails from New York and the cast was brimming with gorgeous people. Numbering 30 in all, they were lithe and able-bodied making every turn and leap look as effortless as the very breath we use while watching these etherial creatures. Each dancer was a compact bundle of muscle with skin that seemed to barely able to contain each sinew but moved with amazing fluidity once the motions began.
The first piece was an abstraction based on nature and life as far as I could tell. And the girls had skirts with lights in them. In the lobby during the first intermission, Resident Brit, Doyenne and I discussed where in the world the battery pack must be.
The second piece was done all in white and I have never so badly wanted a white trenchcoat… or perhaps a young man who would wear a white trenchcoat for me.
The third piece was done in beautiful earth-toned costumes and was done to various traditional spiritual and gospel songs. The emotions of the dancers was so genuine, as though they woke up that morning only find that their hearts had devoted themselves inexorably to the innocent – yet serious – pleasure that is putting your toes in sand or hearing children laugh.
Beauty, if there ever was a definition available, was present on that stage.