MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The worldwide pandemic has forced all live shows to be shut down, but many have come up with creative ways to keep the performing arts alive.
Throughout the month of December, the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater is presenting its first virtual program of performances celebrating six decades of Ailey’s treasured dance known as Revelations.
“It’s Revelations reimagined. It is the 60th anniversary of Mr. Alvin Ailey’s work Revelations. So this year, was all about honoring his shared experiences with that work and the legacy of Mr. Ailey and Revelations. We are all living through unparalleled times so this is a season reimagined for sure,” said choreographer Yusha-Marie Sorzano.
Jamar Roberts is an Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater choreographer and dancer. He created a piece called a ‘jam session for troubling times’ as part of the centennial celebration of jazz revolutionary Charlie “Bird” Parker.
“It’s a piece that’s very energetic, very accessible. I made it for the purpose to be enjoyed,” said Roberts.
He and the other dancers rehearsed and performed in the Ailey studios in NYC with very strict covid protocols.
“Once we did actually get into the studio space we have these squares taped on the dance studio floor. The dancers were only allowed to dance within the squares. Each square was separated 6 feet from the person next to them that’s kind of like how we did it,” said Roberts.
“I live in Los Angeles, so I’m not even in New York, so I did the entire work virtually which was an experience in itself,” said Sorzano.
Normally, the holiday season is performed at the City Center Theater in New York City, and it is performed over 5 weeks.
“Basically, we are taking a five week season where we would perform many many works within the five weeks and we’ve kind of shrink it down to something that’s manageable than if you were can sit through and enjoy,” said Roberts.
For Sorzano who choreographed the tribute to Revelations, it’s all about celebrating hope and humanity. Something that Alvin Ailey, the world-renowned dancer-choreographer and visionary, knew all too well.
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“The inspiration came from studying the shared experiences of Revelations which is so universal, it doesn’t matter what background to come from you can connect to that work,” Sorzano said.
“We recognize that right now we’re in a state of lament and we want to remind people of hope and that there is something to look forward to,” she added.
There’s a full list of performances now through the end of the month and it’s a wonderful way to bring people together, especially at this time.
Go to alvinailey.org for more information.