Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Degree Name

MS in Dance/Movement Therapy

First Advisor

Elise Risher


Alvin Ailey’s 1960’s ballet suite, Revelations, utilizes elements of dance/movement therapy theory and practice to inspire and encourage empathetic connection and communal togetherness within the performing arts arena. Through depictions of mirroring interventions and the utilization of blood memory as body memory, Alvin Ailey created a movement narrative of the African American experience to communicate the emotional spectrum of human life. In witnessing both sorrow and joy through performance, audiences journey through emotional polarities to find shared empathy and unification toward mending collective pains from systemic oppressions. Expanding beyond barriers of racism and cultural difference, Alvin Ailey’s Revelations communicates, choreographically and developmentally, the building of communal empathy and reconciliation through a story of shared cultural trauma and triumph.