Four Sketches on Dances by Alvin Ailey
Materials Sandblasted glass and painted aluminum
For many years I have had an interest in modern and classical dance stemming back to my university days performing as a member of the dance chorus in musical comedies. I subsequently worked as a scenic artist, costume, and lighting designer for several dance companies including the Deborah Zall/June Lewis Dance company and the Arthur Hall Afro-American Dance Ensemble.
The idea of transforming dance into abstract but semi-literal gestural forms was inspired by the dancer, Karen Carlson. These four dances that I have chosen are from one of my favorite choreographers, Alvin Ailey. The dances are titled “Cry”, “Pas de Duke”, “Jazz Suite”, and “Revelations”. The Alvin Ailey Dance Theatre, an all-black company, was formed in 1958. In 1962, he made the company multi-racial. Ailey died in 1989 and the company has succeeded through a series of artistic directors, beginning with Judith Jamison his featured dancer for the previous 28 years.