Jamison, Judith

Jamison, Judith

(jā`məsən), 1944–, American dancer and choreographer, b. Philadelphia. She studied ballet, tap, jazz, and modern dance, and made her debut with the American Ballet Theatre in 1964. She is best known for her work with Alvin AileyAiley, Alvin, Jr.
, 1931–89, American modern dancer and choreographer, b. Rogers, Tex. Ailey studied in Los Angeles with Lester Horton, whose strong, dramatic style and views about multiracial casting influenced his choreography and artistic direction.
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's company, where she danced from 1965 to 1980. Tall, elegant, and long-limbed, with a leonine grace, she performed in a sensitive yet sinuous style that became emblematic of the company. Among the many parts choreographed for her by Ailey were the solo in Cry (1971) and featured roles in Revelations (1960), The Lark Ascending (1972), and The Mooch (1975). After Ailey's death in 1989, Jamison became (1990) the director of his company. She also has choreographed a number of works for the company, including Divining (1984), Forgotten Time (1989), Hymn (1993), Echo: Far from Home (1998), and Double Exposure (2000).

Bibliography

See her autobiography (with H. Kaplan), Dancing Spirit (1993).

Jamison, Judith

(?1943–  ) modern dancer, choreographer, artistic director; born in Philadelphia. She trained early in dance and music and at the Philadelphia Dance Academy before performing with American Ballet Theatre in 1964. She joined Alvin Ailey in 1965 and performed leading roles created especially for her, as in Cry (1971). In 1980 she left the company to perform in the Broadway musical, Sophisticated Ladies, and her first choreography, Divining, was staged in 1984. She dissolved her own Jamison Project, formed in 1988, when she became artistic director of the Alvin Ailey Company shortly after Ailey's death in 1989.