Dance: Out of Pride

"Look!" cries Choreographer-Dancer Alvin Ailey. "Look what you've made! Look how beautiful it is. It's yours. You did it out of adversity. Don't you feel a little dignity about yourself? Be proud of it."

Ailey's impassioned plea is directed at his American Negro brethren. His mission is to awaken an appreciation of "the trembling beauty" of the Negro's cultural heritage—through dance, through "the exuberance of his jazz, the ecstasy of his spirituals, and the dark rapture of his blues." Trouble is, nobody is listening—in the U.S., that is. But in Europe the message is echoing loud and clear: the Alvin...

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