I took my mother and grandmother along to Alvin Ailey Wednesday night. It was my grandmother’s first encounter with modern dance, and I thought I couldn’t go wrong starting her on “Revelations.” She loved it, but then, who doesn’t?

My review of program A in today’s Chronicle:

“What makes one dance dated and another a delightful reflection of its times? “The Golden Section,” the all-dance finale to Twyla Tharp’s otherwise problematic dance-drama “The Catherine Wheel,” screams ’80s. “Solid Gold,” roller rinks, Jazzercise: It’s all there, in the “Wonder Woman” costumes, in the dazzling turns that burst into shimmying shoulders, in the leaps that stop on a dime before a sprint of “Flashdance”-style running. “The Golden Section” is a time capsule in the best sense, because it doesn’t reflect its era so much as reveal Tharp’s culturally omnivorous ability to capture it. Or maybe it just seems that way because the members of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater perform it with such infectious playfulness.

Ailey is back at Cal Performances all week with three programs, two of which close with the eternally soul-stirring “Revelations.” That classic is reason enough to rush to see them, but as added incentive, Program A, which opened Wednesday and repeats Saturday and Sunday, is one of the stronger Ailey offerings to visit the Bay Area in years — and “The Golden Section” is a hoot.”

Click here for the full review.

A note on the writing: I’ve been experimenting with these long, more essay-like or narrative-leaning ledes lately–check out the huge block of text that constitutes the first paragraph of this review–and the Chronicle editors have been going for them. Does the approach work? You tell me, but I’ve been having fun with it.

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