These posts celebrate the movie trailers, movie posters, commercials, print ads, and other promotional material that stand as their own works of art.
One of the most thrilling things about transformative works of art is that it’s desperately rare that anyone involved — creators, performers, observers — are aware that a revolution is about to take place. Alvin Ailey Dance Theatre’s “Revelations,” which made its debut in 1960, wasn’t touted with some gala opening or spotlight announcement. This was the advertisement for the day on which “Revelations” was first publicly performed:
It’s just there, one of three pieces offered. In the same issue of The New York Times where that ad ran, an image of Ailey was prominently featured in a dance column.
The article was almost entirely devoted to complaints about the state of the New York City Ballet. Ailey and his troupe were mentioned in passing, primarily because of some excitement around a different debut. Alvin Ailey Dance Theatre was about to offer their first performance of Darius Milhaud’s “Creation of the World.”
Now, “Revelations” is considered one of the unassailable pinnacles of American dance. On that date over fifty years ago, it was just another entry on a busy program.
Other entries in this series can be found by clicking on the “Art of the Sell” tag.