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My Generation

Judith Jamison 'Reaches Back'

Acclaimed dancer and choreographer is committed to helping the next generation

AARP empowers you to pursue your goals and dreams - Gloria Estefan


Few dancers achieve the fame and critical acclaim of Judith Jamison. With her pliant technique, stunning beauty and regal stature, she’s been hailed as one of the greatest dancers of the 20th century.

See also: Corky Ballas reveals how you too can dance like a star

JUDITH JAMISON’S CREATIVE VISION AND INNOVATIVE CHOREOGRAPHY WAS THE DRIVING FORCE BEHIND THE ALVIN AILEY AMERICAN DANCE THEATRE FOR OVER TWENTY YEARS. MY GENERATION’S BILL BOGGS WAS FORTUNATE ENOUGH TO GET ONE OF HER LAST INTERVIEWS, BEFORE SHE TOOK THE FINAL CURTAIN CALL ON HER CAREER AS ARTISTIC DIRECTOR.

Dancer-choreographer Judith Jamison was the driving force behind the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater for over 20 years. — AARP Broadcast Publicity

As longtime artistic director of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, the superstar dancer and choreographer is passionate about teaching and inspiring young dancers. She lives according to her mother’s and grandmother’s lesson, “Reach back in order to help those that are still coming forward. Help someone get as far along as you’ve gotten along.”

Under Jamison’s 20-year leadership, the Ailey company headquarters, which includes rehearsal space, theaters and a school, was financed and constructed. In one of her last interviews before she took her final bow as artistic director in 2011, Jamison and My Generation’s Bill Boggs talk about her life, her work and her unforgettable dance legacy.

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