Carrying On the Legacy

Once Alvin Ailey's star dancer, Judith Jamison takes over his role at the head of New York's most vivacious company

Few artistic relationships are closer than that between a choreographer and the dancer who embodies his or her inspiration. Such was the relationship between Alvin Ailey and Judith Jamison. Ailey, at the head of his own dance company, drew on gospel music, the blues and other legacies of the black experience to create works that helped open the world of dance to new audiences and new performers. Jamison was the majestic dancer who performed Ailey's creations with a poetry and passion that matched his own. In such a collaboration, says Jamison, the other person "knows what you're doing without your telling...

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