Dancers as Neighbors

Judith Jamison\

It’s interesting how New Yorkers’ daily life can be so interconnected with the dance world (and art world in general). I love that about this city, which I once called home and still do, to a certain extent. Last fall I visited with an old friend and her husband, who used to live in the Upper West Side of Manhattan. We met in D.C., where they live now, and saw the exhibit “Dancing the Dream” at Smithsonian’s Portrait Gallery. There was a large photo of Judith Jamison, founder of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. My friends told me how they used to run into Jamison, who was their upstairs neighbor for two decades. The husband remembers how striking her statuesque body was—and how unusual and groundbreaking her body type and dance was at the time when she first started her dance troupe. He also remembers how he had asked for free tickets to her performance all these years but was never given one, LOL!