This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, March 9, 2011 - Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater's three performances at the Fox Theatre this weekend are part of an extensive national tour celebrating the 50th year of Ailey's signature ballet "Revelations," a tribute to the late choreographer's childhood and African-American heritage.
An American classic, "Revelations" has been seen by more people throughout the world than any other work of modern dance. Set to the melodies of traditional gospel spirituals, the ballet explores multiple facets of African-American religious life. On a universal level, the ballet represents fundamental aspects of the human condition: grief, joy, struggle and belonging. Yet the work is also intensely personal.