Modern dance work in one act with choreography by Ailey, a score based on traditional black religious music (spirituals, Holy blues, etc.) arr. Howard Roberts, and design by Ves Harper. Premiered 31 Jan. 1960 by the Alvin Ailey Dance Theater at the YM-YWHA, New York. It charts man's spiritual journey from baptism through religious despair to joyous salvation in a dance language that is boldly physical and theatrical. It has become the signature work of Alvin Ailey's American Dance Theater and was performed at the company's 40th anniversary celebrations in 1998 with Judith Jamison making her conducting debut.