Cry- Alvin Ailey (1971)


Mind Map on Cry- Alvin Ailey (1971), created by katemarning on 09/29/2013.
Mind Map by katemarning, updated more than 1 year ago
Created by katemarning over 9 years ago

Resource summary

Cry- Alvin Ailey (1971)
    1. Movement
      1. Lester Horton Technique "ballet bottom, modern top". Martha Graham contractions. Mix of ballet and contemporary.
      2. Spatial Elements
        1. Body shapes, levels. Low levels (defeated), high (striving for freedom). Constricted by the prop (piece of fabric), slavery is restricting on her life, prop metaphorical for slavery.
          1. Section 1: Proud African American, experiencing some hardships/pain but her faith in God (arms outstretched/modern top motif) assists in her hardship. Low levels, scrubbing with cloth. Cloth constricts her. White costuming, grace and pride, religious connotations. High levels, outstretched arms with high release. Contraction of torso with fists, clenching at freedom, frustration with life. End of section 1, shackled hand. LOSS OF FREEDOM
            1. Section 2: RESIGNATION. Contracting, reaching on medium level. Turning sequence around room, circle trying to escape but no end. Jete entrelace. Reaching arm then collapsed defeat at end.
              1. Section 3: TRIUMPH IN THE FACE OF DESPAIR. Begins with rise from second grand plie, music, upbeat, beating the struggle. Long elongated lines, high level. High flying bird- freedom. Prayer hands to the 'sky'. Medium level, praying to God, dependence on God/faith. Higher level- release. End position mirrors opening position, representing cyclical inevitability and progression of frustration and despair but there is hope as it ends on a higher level.
              2. Dynamics
                1. Heavy explosive sudden movements (more evident in section 2)- such as repetition of fists with heavy, collapsing dynamics- defeat. Sustained light dynamics, flowing, enlightenment, more evident in section 1 and 3- hope,freedom.
                2. Aural Elements
                  1. Section 1: Something about John Coltrane. Introduction into the hardships of African American Slavery. Emphasizing beats, places emphasis on struggle when use pride with contracting motif.
                    1. Section 2: Been on a train. Pain, hardship mirrored in pain filled vocals.
                      1. Section 3: Light on, be free. Freedom, triumph, upbeat Afro Jazz music. "High flying bird".
                      2. Dancers
                        1. 1 female dancer- African American. To show the struggles of all African American females with slavery, racism. 1 dancer on stage, no assistance, shows the African Americans singular struggle with slavery, no assistance from anyone but each other.
                        2. Stage setting: Bound by fabric boundaries, doesnt leave space fixed by white space on ground. Cloth metaphor for slavery and its constriction
                        3. ORGANIZING THE DANCE-MOTIFS
                          1. Juxtaposition of motifs show themes of pride, beauty, vs. despair, pain, broken spirit.
                            1. Contraction of torso- on low levels, defeat struggle- High level with out stretched arms- Martha Graham style contraction. Still a struggle but greater chance of freedom.
                              1. Arm lines- strong open parallel lines (Horton Technique)- broken angular symbolic of broken spirit, with fists clenched. Hands crossed- burden/restriction with contrasting projection of upper body shows sense of pride/power.
                                1. Bird hands- fluttering, sense of release. Circling around face- beauty and pride. Clenched fists- anger struggle. 3 clear sections in Cry- pain, hardship, pride and freedom
                                2. INTERPRETATION
                                  1. Context: Slavery, American Civil War/Black Oppression. Racism. Genre: Classical training, Lester Horton/Martha Graham, Afro Jazz. Subject Matter: Hardships undergone by Black African Americans/ Shows pride of the race, the hope they have, gives hope to those still suffering. Seminal work: Relevant societal themes which are still ongoing, an outlet for pain for an entire culture/race.
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