VIP – Judith Jamison

4 Jun 2010 – 6:12 PM Comments

Dancer VIP: Judith Jamison – Alvin Ailey former Artistic Director

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Raw by Mia Michael – That’s Beautiful

Submitted by on 19 Nov 2006 – 8:43 PM Comments

Mia MichaelsWhy do we dance? Why does our body want to move and pulse with every rise and fall of the music that invades our ears? Are we a product of a the thousand and one classes and a lifetime of training, or is dance a purely instinctual and primal experience that hapens internally only when we allow it? I would only hope that both reasons intertwined with respect and nurturing are the answer. Or is it a gift that’s given by a much higher power than ourselves? That would be beautiful.

Allowing movement to come through us in the form of pure energy and onto a highly trained yet raw instrument is what defines the ultimate “dancer.” One that knows how to pull from technique and also when to leave technique alone and head straight to the heart of the matter. One that knows how to pull from the rawness and humanness that would drip from their own personal journey through this world and allows the real movement to come from the inside out. That is beautiful.

It is so easy to hide behind steps; it’s much deeper than that. Our goal should not just be to perfect what a choreographer gives us but also to allow our own unique voice as a dancer artist to come through and marry to the energy of the choreographer. That is beautiful.

Then again, let’s think about some of the most simple and beautiful images of dance. A young child is jumping freely to music, laughing and giggling with such purity and with no fear of judgment. An older couple, fragile yet safe in each others arms, slowly try to keep up with their favorite song from a time earlier in their lives as they reminisce through all the years with each step. That is beautiful.

If everyone danced from their heart and purity of spirit, using free movement as a daily practice and meditation, there would be no more wars. I believe every breathing thing has been given the gift of dance and movement. So let go, take that deep breath and dance! That is beautiful!

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First published in movmnt magazine “Army of Me” Winter 2006 issue

Movmnt Issue 2 - Winter 06 - Army of me, Rasta Thomas

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  2. baby photographer says:

    baby photographer…

    You deserve a pat on the back and a handshake for some very clever subject/content; I’ll give this one a bookmark and I recommend the same! I wish everyone used such a straightforward approach….

  3. Ewa says:

    I must say I like your words. It feels good to know that dance is not only about technic. It feels even better if words confirming that come out of someone like you, proffesional, creative and gifted chreographer. It gives hope to all of us who love dancing but do not have basic training. It gives hope that our “dancing” and movement makes sense and can be beautiful. I think its greate that altough you are constantly surrounded by the proffesional side of choreograpger’s work, you still can see the depth behind the steps and lerant in school technic.