Judith Jamison

Biography

Judith Jamison joined Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in 1965 and quickly became an international star. Over the next 15 years, Mr. 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 Mr. Ailey 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. Ms. Jamison is the recipient of numerous awards and honors, among them a prime time Emmy Award, an American Choreography Award, the Kennedy Center Honor, a National Medal of Arts, a “Bessie” Award, the Phoenix Award, and the Handel Medallion. She was also listed in “TIME 100: The World’s Most Influential People” and honored by First Lady Michelle Obama at the first White House Dance Series event. This year, she became the 50th inductee into the Hall of Fame at the National Museum of Dance.

As a highly regarded choreographer, Ms. Jamison has created many celebrated works, including Divining (1984), Forgotten Time (1989), Hymn (1993), HERE . . .NOW. (commissioned for the 2002 Cultural Olympiad), Love Stories (with additional choreography by Robert Battle and Rennie Harris, 2004), and Among Us (Private Spaces: Public Places) (2009). Ms. Jamison’s autobiography, Dancing Spirit, was edited by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and published in 1993. In 2004, under Ms. Jamison’s artistic directorship, her idea of a permanent home for the Ailey company was realized and named after beloved chairman Joan Weill. Ms. Jamison continues to dedicate herself to asserting the prominence of the arts in our culture, and she remains committed to promoting the significance of the Ailey legacy – using dance as a medium for honoring the past, celebrating the present and fearlessly reaching into the future.

"I believe in spirit and then I believe a manifestation of spirit is dance"

"People come to see beauty, and I dance to give it to them"

- Judith Jamison

Repertory choreographed
by Judith Jamison

 

 

 

News & Press

A conversation with Judith Jamison, director emerita of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and winner of the 2013 APAP Award of Merit, is not like taking a walk through American dance history. It is the walk through American dance History.
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater's holiday season opened at City Center with a performance of its signature piece, "Revelations," featuring the singers Jessye Norman, Anika Noni Rose and Brian Stokes Mitchell.
Iconic dancer/choreographer Judith Jamison, a Philadelphia native and the former artistic director of the internationally acclaimed Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater is one of four renowned leaders and achievers being honored for their lifetime accomplishments with the 33rd annual Common Wealth Awards of Distinguished Service.
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Video

CNN's Fredricka Whitfield speaks with Judith Jamison and Robert Battle on his background and being chosen as the third artistic director of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.
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Releases

Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (NYSE: BMY) today announced the 10 first-place winners of the 2011 REYATAZ “Fight HIV Your Way” contest. The contest uses the power of words and visual arts as a platform to help raise awareness and lessen the stigma surrounding HIV.
America's cultural ambassador celebrates 50 years of Revelations in Norway, Russia, Germany and Switzerland. 10-week tour will mark passing of Artistic Director mantle from Judith Jamison to Robert Battle on July 1 in Moscow, where Company launches "American Seasons in Russia" program under auspices of U.S.-Rissia bilateral presidential commission.
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