A lot has changed in the 51 years since choreographer Alvin Ailey debuted his now-classic work "Revelations," a three-section dance that expresses the African-American plight and perseverance from slavery to revolution.

A lot has changed in the 51 years since choreographer Alvin Ailey debuted his now-classic work "Revelations," a three-section dance that expresses the African-American plight and perseverance from slavery to revolution.

What hasn't changed is the honor dancers feel to learn it.

"I love it. It's Alvin Ailey's masterpiece," said Fana Tesfagiorgis, a dancer in her second year with Ailey II, the pre-professional troupe of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. "You definitely feel a sense of responsibility when you're learning a piece that is older than you and a foundational moment of dance."

The music in "Revelations" includes blues and gospel tunes. Faith is a common theme. The final section's jubilant "Yellow" depicts a church service, with dancers in the bright color dancing with myriad props.

In addition to "Revelations," the troupe's dancers will perform other prominent choreographers' works on their visit to Columbus this weekend.

A highlight is Jessica Lang's "Splendid Isolation, The Calling." The lights go up to reveal a statuesque woman in a giant white skirt that sweeps up most of the stage. Set to a choral piece and part of Mahler's Symphony No. 5, the dance's choreography beautifully incorporates the cumbersome if elegant skirt.

"It is emotional and dramatic," said Tesfagiorgis, who will perform the solo Saturday. "I always love working with props. Umbrellas, fans, stools, the skirt. It adds another level of humanity in a way. In real life, we are always holding something. It's another way to relate to the audience."