March 30, 2007
Contact:
Anna Christopher, NPR
 | 

ALVIN AILEY’S JUDITH JAMISON
OFFERS PERSONAL ESSAY ON LIVING HONESTLY
FOR NPR’S THIS I BELIEVE
ON NPR NEWS ALL THINGS CONSIDERED
MONDAY, APRIL 2




March 30, 2007; Washington, D.C. – Judith Jamison, artistic director of the renowned Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, shares her belief in the adage “to thine own self be true” in an essay for the NPR series This I Believe, airing Monday, April 2 on NPR News All Things Considered. Inspired by newsman Edward R. Murrow’s 1950’s radio program of the same name, This I Believe features Americans from all walks of life expressing their core beliefs and values in short, personal essays.

In her essay, Jamison describes how she has worked to embody her mother’s advice – “this above all: to thine own self be true” – and father’s dying words – “be good” – throughout her life and dance career. “I’ve found that honesty comes with goodness…,” she says. “In the rehearsal studio, I strive to be as true to myself as I possibly can. For me, the studio is hallowed ground, where the realities of self and spirit are revealed.”

She adds, “I always tell my dancers to be totally honest about who they are and then there will be a depth to what they have to say, and that will be remembered.”

Jamison has been the artistic director of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater since 1989, when she succeeded her mentor and the troupe’s founder, Alvin Ailey. She joins a growing list of well-known essayists who have contributed to the series since its premiere on April 4, 2005, including former Secretary of State Colin Powell; Senator John McCain; Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates; skateboarding icon Tony Hawk; activist Gloria Steinem; author John Updike; psychologist Kay Redfield Jamison; and musician Wayne Coyne.

More than 22,000 NPR listeners have also submitted essays to This I Believe. Essays chosen for broadcast have ranged from revelations about parents, personal struggles, race and identity to the importance of feeding monkeys.

This I Believe essay writing has been incorporated into the activities of schools, community groups, places of worship as well as birthday celebrations. Essays have also been read or played at weddings and funerals. The series is a collaboration between NPR and This I Believe, Inc., Dan Gediman and Jay Allison, producers.

Visit www.NPR.org for stations and times of NPR News All Things Considered. To date, This I Believe essays have ranked among the top e-mailed stories on NPR.org. To listen or to read past essays, please visit www.NPR.org/thisibelieve.