Friday, February 27, 2015

Alvin Ailey on the Brain & Heart

Lately I've been having a very hard time with my bipolar. At the same time I've been enjoying relationships (or should I just say "relations" and/or "company") and being creative and more productive with my various arts-related projects. 
 I don't know if it's because I'm a black queer artist and leader in my various communities (arts, poly, recovering, etc.), but I identify a lot with Alvin Ailey, who was also same-gender-loving, black, artistic and "directorial" as I like to say, and suffered from bipolar disorder. 
 Like me, he grew up feeling uncomfortable with his sexuality (I didn't fully claim mine until I was 38) and while he "looked good on paper" work-wise, his personal life, due to his mental illness, was often a piping hot mess.
 My sister is a dance scholar and choreographer, and during one of the many stints I lived with her, I read one of her many books on dance. This one was a thick hardcover biography about Alvin Ailey. I've thought of this book often in recent months, and just in general feeling like Alvin is with me, giving me strength, reminding me to hold on, to express myself, to live, and enjoy company, all while trying to keep my work active and get my messes straightened. 
 I believe our ancestors are around us and we don't have to be related to those we identify with. Catholics have their patron saints, and I believe we can use our imagines to whatever end we wish that brings us comfort.
 I also believe folks who go on ahead of us are there to show us lessons we can avoid. 
 So, I'm grateful for the model and inspiration of Alvin Ailey's work and life, and I feel stronger knowing I am not alone.
 Please enjoy these images of the man, the artist, and look into his sad and gifted eyes full of power.

Interesting article about Alvin Ailey:


Make yourself a beautiful day!

Cassendre Xavier
(aka Amethyste Rah, aka Amrita Waterfalls)
“renaissance negresse & ARTrepreneur”
(musician/writer/actress/fine artist)
Leeway Transformation Award-Winning founder & executive director of the Black Women’s Arts Festival (Est. 2003) and the Women's Writing & Spoken Word Series (Est. 2002). 
Visit the Cassendre Xavier Music Gallery at CD Baby: 
Visit Cassendre's iTunes storefront:
Visit Cassendre's Amazon song singles page:
Official website:

No comments:

Post a Comment