Alvin Ailey's Kinetic Beauty

As a part of my continuing art education, Phaedra and I attended a performance tonight of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. It was truly some of the most enthusiastically joyful, athletically graceful dance I've seen in a long time. It was phenomenal. About halfway through the show I thought to myself, "Well, if the show ends now, I've gotten my money's worth." I don't always think that about the shows I see at the Bass Concert Hall, Austin's largest performance auditorium.

Particularly beautiful--that is, intensely, richly beautiful, the kind that awakens desire for mad-hot heaven-bound ballroom and where you find yourself saying, thank God for bodies--were "Night Creature," which used Duke "Roaming through the jungle of 'oohs' and 'ahs,' searching for a more agreeable noise, I live a life of primitively with the mind of a child and an unquenchable thirst for sharps and flats" Ellington's electrifying jazz compositions, and "Revelations," Alvin Ailey's signature masterpiece that explores African-American spirituals that encompass songs of love, struggle and deliverance--and not a little bit of bad-to-the-bone, foot-stompin', get-me-out-of-my-seat and wish-I'd-been-born-black goodness.

I'd like to say I was responsible for their encore, since I was the only white boy out of the 2 to 3000 in attendance leaning over the nose-bleed second balcony, hollaring "Ennnnn-core," and whooping and whistling like an uncivilized concert-goer, but probably not. And it didn't matter why, it just mattered that they did. And God Almighty I wished I'd been down on that stage shaking a little boo-tay myself.


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