'Alvin Ailey' Celebrates 50 Years Of Magic

Judith Jamison

hide captionJudith Jamison

Andrew Eccles

Fifty years since opening its doors, the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in New York has become a staple of American choreography and culture.

Judith Jamison is the company's artistic director. She joined the dance group at a time when the world of professional dance was largely closed to African-Americans. Following the death of founder Alvin Ailey in 1989, which rocked the arts community, Jamison swiftly answered the call to carry on the torch of her esteemed mentor.

"He passed away Dec. 1, 1989," Jamison remembers. "What was I supposed to do? There was no time for question[s]."

The program recently paid a visit to the company's Manhattan studios, where Jamison talked about preparing for retirement, her undying love for dance and sustaining the vision of Alvin Ailey.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and Terms of Use. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

Support comes from: