My Private Concert
Last weekend I went to visit my college roommate, DeShawn. She’s currently an OB-GYN in the Baltimore area. Several days before my expected arrival, she called asking if I wanted to go see Alvin Ailey dancers. OF COURSE! We arrived at the infamous Kennedy Center and walked in with several hundred people. As others asked the usher to help them to their seat, DeShawn just walked passed them and said, “I know where we’re going”. We continued to walk closer and closer to the front of the theatre. As we got to the very front row, left center, DeShawn said these were our seats. Are you serious? I sat down and turned my back. I saw four tiers of thousands of people. I viewed the fabulous crystal chandelier piece that hung from the ceiling. I thought of all the historic events that had taken place here. Then I touched the stage. It was right there in front of me. Wow!
As the curtain raised, I was mesmerized by what I saw. There were beautiful African American dancers of all shades gracefully dancing across the stage. Their costumes were delicately put together and I sat in awe as they swayed to the rhythm of the beat. I felt as if it were my own private concert. I was so close to the dancers that I could tell you the color of their eye shadow, hear their breathing patterns and describe the muscular lines as they changed movements. As the music changed from jazz to negro spirituals I started to really ponder the magnitude of what I was viewing. The Alvin Ailey performers represent some of the most talented African American dancers in the nation. Both historically and today, they have been able to show an appreciation for the arts that millions have flocked to see. Their style and charisma were simply breath taking and their passion toward preserving African American traditions through song and dance will be a memory that will stay close to my heart.
M.Y. February 2008