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Judith Jamison

An Introduction
by

Katy Grayshon

on 17 October 2013

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Transcript of Judith Jamison

Judith Jamison
An Introduction
How Jamison changed the company...
Background
Judith Jamison was born in 1943 in Philadelphia. She studied violin and piano from a young age and enrolled in dance classes at 6 years old. By the age of 9 she was a child protege.
Her early training involved mainly classical ballet, however she aslo trained in Tap, acrobatics, and
Dunham
technique. (flexible torso and spine, articulated pelvis and isolation of the limbs and polyrhythmic movement integrated with techniques of ballet and modern dance)
She completed her training at the Philadelphia Dance Academy and then went on to study Laban notation and later
Horton
technique.
At the age of 22 she was invited by Alvin Ailey himself to join the AAADT and over 15 years she performed over 75 ballet's
"People come to see beauty, and I dance to give it to them"
--Judith Jamison
"I believe in spirit and then I believe a manifestation of spirit is dance"
-Judith Jamison
Historical, cultural, and social influences...
Jamison grew up with...
Segregated classrooms and seperate seats on busses

This was a time that black people felt that they needed to speak out and express themselves as their own culture and identity was being suppressed in their own country. With role models such as Martin Lutor King and Rosa Parks who refused to give up her seat on a bus in 1955

Research task - In groups, use your phones to come up with one social, historical, or cultural influence of Jamison... 2 minutes

What is it?
How do you think it could have influenced her work?
Movement characteristics of Divining...
After joining the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in 1965 she quickly became an international star. Over the next 15 years, Ailey created some of his most enduring roles for her, most notably the tour-de-force solo Cry. During the 1970s and 80s, she appeared as a guest artist with ballet companies all over the world, starred in the hit Broadway musical Sophisticated Ladies, and formed her own company, The Jamison Project. She returned to Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in 1989 when He asked her to succeed him as Artistic Director. In the 21 years that followed, she brought the Company to unprecedented heights – including two historic engagements in South Africa and a 50-city global tour to celebrate the Company’s 50th anniversary.
1)What are the Characteristics of Jamison’s movement style in this piece?
2) Comment on the physical setting. (staging, lighting, costume)
3) Comment on the aural setting.
4) How do all of these elements contribute to the overall meaning of the piece? Use evidence from the piece to support your answer. (100 words)
Questions...
As artistic director, Jamison contributed not only to the choreographic repertoire of AAADT, but also to the development of the Ailey school, educational outreach programme and financial success and stability of the company as it stands today.

Jamison championed the development of the
Women's Choreography Initiative
and helped establish a multicultural curriculum at the Ailey School, introducing dance from India and West Africa.

Moving towards the 90's while still concerned with the affirmation of black identity and culture she became more influenced by the need to expand the company financially, culturally, and artistically.

Jamison continued to send the AAADT to perform worldwide and by 1992 the company were more than surviving a recession hit USA due to their strong world presence and financial stabilty.
Deep angled plie's
Spirals - Hips and arms
Reaches
Angles - Knees and Elbows
Loose movements
Reactive
Hips and Knees
Isolated walks
Spine ripples
animalistic
Tribal
Celebrational
Ritual
"I'm standing on Alvin's shoulders," Jamison reflected in her autobiography Dancing Spirit (1993)
Starter
1) When do you think these two pieces were choreographed?

2) What first impression do you get from Judith Jamison by watching these clips?

3) What do you think they were trying to communicate?
Full transcript