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Alvin Ailey Dancers Slay Beyonce’s ‘Freedom’

Let’s face it, we’ve had a heavy couple of weeks. Between the viral videos showing the killings of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling, the Dallas shootings, and the calls for conversations about race, July has been an extremely emotional month.

In times of struggle, art has a way of breaking through. And recently, several of the dancers of the acclaimed Alvin Ailey American Dance Company decided to come together and get free.

Choreographed by Sean Aaron Carmon, a group of dancers got it in to Beyoncé’s hit, “Freedom.”

As Bey sings, “Freedom, where are you?” the dancers groove to the righteous anthem, using their bodies to tell a story.

Carmon told the New York Times he created the dance to help him, and his fellow dancers, deal with their emotions about the recent tragedies.

“The company was on tour in Saratoga Springs, and I noticed a lot of our dancers were clearly in some type of emotional duress,” he explained. “As the dance progressed, it allowed me to release a lot of my emotions, so I proposed it to the company: If anyone wants to come and dance whatever you’re feeling out, we have 30 minutes — let’s have that moment so we can leave it in the studio and take our fresh selves to the stage.”

Shot in stark black and white, “Freedom” is an emotionally-wrenching, powerful protest in motion.

Carmon said he asked his fellow dancers to “give me everything you have.” And they absolutely delivered.

Take a look at the powerful performance below.

A video posted by Alvin Ailey (@alvinailey) on