Saturday, March 15, 2008

Just Asking: Judith Jamison

On March 30, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater begins celebrating its 50th anniversary, with dozens of churches across the country holding tributes and performances. The Manhattan company is also in the midst of a $30 million fund-raising campaign aimed at giving it one of the biggest endowments of any performing-arts group. (Its endowment now is $22 million.) Artistic director and former dancer Judith Jamison, who has begun looking for a successor to succeed her in 2011, talks below about the troupe.

WSJ: Mr. Ailey was among the first to showcase black dancers and choreographers. What's it like today?

Ms. Jamison: When I started, it was really hard for dancers of color to perform anywhere. It's better but still hard, and there are a lot of great choreographers whose work is hardly seen. But Alvin always said, "You can come and put your dances on my dancers," and that's still important to us.

Your dancers are known for being very athletic. Is running a dance group like running a sports team?

We have two physical therapists who are always on tour with the dancers, and at our home in New York we have an entire room with training and rehab equipment.

Are you trying to reach new and younger audiences?

One of our young staff people came up with the idea of using the Web more to do that. You can see videos of our dancers performing on YouTube and MySpace now.

Keep Reading...

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home

*Shimmy Online Magazine* Blending the genres of artistic movement 7 days a week.

Tips...Clips...Questions Email Shimmy

Advertising Info

Shimmy Team

Managing Editor:
Tania Gressell

Media reporters:
Krissy Gressell

Shimmy On Myspace

 Subscribe in a reader

Add to Technorati Favorites