This chapter examines Revelations, the first major choreographic masterpiece of Alvin Ailey. When Ailey choreographed this dance in 1960 it was intended to be the second part of an evening-length survey of African American music that would show the growth and reach of black culture. He chose the spirituals, or sorrow songs, for this dance because it was designed to suggest a chronological spectrum of black religious music that would map out rural southern spirituality onto the dance concert stage.
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