Ballet “Cry” simply showed to us real life of all African women. Every single American people know what kind of life they went through. Therefore it touched their heard. Alvin Ailey’s “Cry” presented wonderfully combined movements, technique and emotion. Ms. Donna Wood uses tragic face, a mask of sorrow. It is a face born to cry, but when she smiles it is with an innocent radiance, joyfulness that simple and lovely. She never tries consciously to please an audience. He was not only concentrating in movements and physical performance, but also using flowing white gown with a long white scarf for the dancer.
A long sleeve white blouse is slim, to show the dancers body. Especially her movement and technique. It made dance more interesting to audience. This beautiful piece of modern dance consists of three sections. Ms. Donna Wood performed solo dance for 16 minutes from section to section. Her ways through the dance are different in movement quality that she gives to each passage. In this tribute to black women, the free sprit or the African women comes through in the energy of her dancing. In the first section started on dark stage, only dancer has a spotlight. Music was soft and smooth.
We could hear only piano while dancer was walking forward in straight posture with graceful movement. Started with smooth then mixed up with sharp and pedestrian movements. She uses long white scarf on the floor by showing to us hard work. In dance we say ”low” level. For example, she scrubs the floor, uses as a headband representing to carry something. Emotionally sad ness, she worked hard, she contracts in pain, she flutters her hands like captive birds and she tried to get out of struggling life, but she never gives up. There is pain here as well as power, and the music, so oddly modern to me.
In the end of the first section she starts picking up her dress, shows her leg and fills the stage. Basically first part of work showed their slaver life and unhappy living. In the second section background lightening became blue and the stage color gets brighter. Still we can see and feel some dark sides of lightening. Music tempo was faster and stronger and Ms. Donna Wood has stronger movements. The most interesting in this section was singing human voice. She starts to sing and has a little smile on her face. Most of her movement shape was very sharp, edgy and angled especially her arms at first. She represents them to be united and get free.
By jumping and crossing arms, she sinks to earth and then she rises. Strong steps and ecstatically raised arms, dances freely off the stage, toward freedom. In short, in this part of work the young women life get better and better, but still it wasn’t completed. In the third section Ms. Donna Wood looks like an African goddess and her body has an unexpected gracefulness. Even stage color was bright reddish, warm atmosphere around the dancer, like a sunrise in the morning. Stage would fill with colors. Music and performer are singing together. A sound of music tempo gets faster. She has the happiest face ever, no pain and no slavery.
She jumps, she swings her leg and arms, and even she pulls her dress up and shows her leg an entire dance. Sound and lightening create the environment and good mood. She uses high level of dance than in previous two sections. She moves in between melody. I liked how she uses the stage in this section. She has the high energy to cover so much space by dancing alone. Finally, Ms. Donna Wood gives us her version of black power and black pride in “be free”. In conclusion, the solo dance “Cry” performed by Ms. Donna Wood has 3 sections for 16 minutes work. An African women’s journey through the agonies of slavery to an ecstatic stage of grace.
She dances with an articulated beauty, serene, together and womanly. She holds herself a little aloof from the audience, but she is reserved rather than shy. She is wonderfully proud, from the poise of her head set perfectly on a long, strong neck. The simplicity of the staging was exemplary, and the lighting made most telling contribution in varying the effect of each section and matching work. Ms. Donna Wood’s angular, cleanly shaped gestures slashed through the air for an exciting finale. Alvin Ailey made it for her and as a birthday present for his mother.