Judith's Open Road

  • INTERVIEWED BY:

    Crazy Babbling Sunshine

  • INTERVIEW LOCATION:

    New York, NY

  • AIRED ON:

    Public Television: Season 8

  • ON DVD:

JUDITH JAMISON

Choreographer/Artistic Director
Alvin Ailey Dance Theater

“It's okay to have doubts and to be scared, but get to your core...What truth are you trying to say in your life?”

INTERESTS:

Acting & Theatre Art

THEMES DISCUSSED:

Beliefs & Faith Dedication Doubt Fear Determination Perseverance Goals Planning Struggle Focus Hard Work Family Inspiration Self-Reflection Experience Desire Instincts Support & Encouragement Confidence Failure Negativity

FOUNDATION:

Being Creative

TAGS:

anchor, auditions, ballet, being human, center, church, dance, dancing, destiny, fate, journey, Met, predestined, prodigy, protege, religion, spiritual, spontaneous, survival, theater

BIOGRAPHY:

  • Says she learned about pageantry and art in church, as well as how to have the tenacity to get up every Sunday and go, even when she didn't want to.
  • Remembers her first dance recital at six years old; when she heard the applause, something clicked.
  • When she was 10 years old, she was already taking adult-level dance classes.
  • Went to Fisk University, where she got a physical education degree; while there, she was discovered by Agnes de Mille.
  • Her first major performance role was at the Met-says, "nobody gets their first gig at the Met, but that was me."
  • Afterwards, she couldn't find any roles for African-American women, so she had to spend months working at a fair.
  • After losing a part at an audition, she met Alvin Ailey, who invited her to come dance with his company.
  • Her career paved the way for female African-American dancers; she was the first African-American to appear on the cover of Dance magazine.

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