What the dance is about:
The subject of Revelations is a celebration of African American heritage and community through 4 sections. Each section is a tribute to a celebration of the richness of black culture. Section 1, religion, communicated through a mood of holiness. Section 2 explores the labour and a mood of determinism and strength. Section 3 is centered around a theme of baptism. The final section returns to the first dynamic of piousness and religion. 5 styles: African, Caribbean (as an exploration of heritage), Horton technique, ballet and jazz dance.
Focus for dance elements:
In section 1, an atmosphere piousness can be reflected through a sustained dynamics well as the ‘holy’ nature to the openness of my chest, and the upwards facing. Some Caribbean elements (spine undulations can be seen here) In section 2 I have a strong-willed nature through projection and a heavy, yet outwards dynamic. The themes of baptism in section 3 can be seen through the more fluidness and fulfilment to my movement and expressions. The last section returns to the first theme, so I again use an open chest, and a peaceful dynamic.
This piece was really really difficult. It was a contemporary, African, Carribean piece, based on the choreography by Alvin Ailey. We were taught as a solo, but as a class, we created a group piece by adding formations, and a narrative about Ailey, and the struggle of the black community in America. I think physical perseverance was a big big part of revelations – the dance was incredibly challenging, and because of my unfamiliarity to African and Carribean styles, a lot of muscles I wouldn’t normally use had to be strengthened (especially in the back and inner thighs). Another challenge was choreographing as a group of 7. A balance had to be found between the presentation and confidence in pushing your own ideas while considering and respecting the proposals made by others. Rehearsals were also largely student lead, so we had to keep the focus strong to make sure we not only came up with an impressive final dance but also paid respectable tribute to my boy Alvin.
After the initial submission, I got feedback from my supervisor about strengthening the analysis of my studies (adding to the narrative of the essay instead of purely describing them – a focus on ethics specifically has to be more explicit) to make my arguments between the two therapies more solid. Looking back to before I started my research, or even after I’d written my first 1000 words, it’s surprising how much knowledge I’ve gained on a subject I’d otherwise known hardly anything about – not only in terms of the content, but also the whole process of building an argument from scratch. At this point, I’m confident that all the information is there, it’s more a matter of adding certain links between ideas, generalising why the topic is worthy of study, refining the clarity and specificity of my research question, commenting on the influencing paradigms on psychology (behaviourism) – as identified by my supervisor.