Lesley University’s Strauch-Mosse Visiting Artist Lecture Series presents a conversation with Judith Jamison
Tuesday, February 18, 2014
After leaving Alvin Ailey in 1980, she returned to the company and became artistic director in 1989, choreographing dances that speak to the African-American spirit and the human experience. Along the way, she has earned numerous awards, including a Kennedy Center Honor and a National Medal of Arts.
“Judith Jamison's dancing is the pure embodiment of life in all of the dimensions of the human experience,” notes Dr. Nancy Beardall, coordinator of Lesley University’s Dance/Movement Therapy program. “Her dedication and passion will inspire our Lesley community to celebrate and affirm the revitalizing nature and power of dance and the arts.”
Lesley presents a special evening with Jamison on Wednesday, March 5, at 7 p.m. in Washburn Auditorium on Lesley’s Brattle Campus. This conversation with the iconic dancer and choreographer is free and open to the public; however, seating is limited and registration is required: www.lesley.edu/alvin-ailey.
About Judith Jamison
A native of Philadelphia, Jamison studied with Marion Cuyjet, was discovered by Agnes de Mille, and made her New York debut with American Ballet Theatre in 1964. She became a member of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in 1965 and danced with the Company for 15 years to great acclaim.
After leaving in 1980, she appeared as a guest artist with ballet companies across the globe and starred in the hit Broadway musical “Sophisticated Ladies.” In 1988, she formed The Jamison Project. That same year, PBS aired a special depicting her creative process, “Judith Jamison: The Dancemaker.”
In addition to the Kennedy Center Honor and a National Medal of Arts, Jamison’s awards include: a Primetime Emmy Award, an American Choreography Award, the Algur H. Meadows Award from Southern Methodist University, the NAACP “Making a Difference” Award, the Paul Robeson award from Actors’ Equity Association, and a “Bessie” Award for her lifetime commitment to the preservation and development of dance and the arts.
Jamison’s autobiography, “Dancing Spirit,” was edited by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, and she was honored by First Lady Michelle Obama at the first White House Dance Series: A Tribute to Judith Jamison. In 2010, her costume from Alvin Ailey’s 1975 ballet “The Mooche” was added to the permanent collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of American History.
Today, Jamison serves as Alvin Ailey’s Artistic Director Emerita. Recently, she led the Company on a 50-city, yearlong global tour celebrating Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s 50th anniversary.
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