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Issue Date: May 2012

Dance Lessons

Danielle Hyams

Dancing can be more than a series of movements. It’s a way to communicate a story, a feeling or an emotion. The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater is famous for this. Take its signature piece, Revelations, which pays homage to the African-American cultural heritage of struggle and faith. Set to Gospel and blues music, scenes recreate the trials of slavery with bowed heads, slumped shoulders and heavy bodies and the jubilation of freedom in the soaring leaps and flowing yellow dresses of a Southern church service. “It’s very physical, often very emotional and very beautiful,” says artistic director Robert Battle. You can see selections old and new from the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater May 4-6 at PlayhouseSquare’s State Theatre. “Dance really is a celebration of our common humanity, and as long as you’re moving in some way, you know you’re alive,” Battle says. “You not only see an Ailey performance, but you feel an Ailey performance.” $10-$70,

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