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(Music: "Wade in the Water" by Ella Jenkins)
Wade in the water
Wade in the water, children
Wade in the water
God's a-gonna trouble the water
Oh, why don't you wade in the water
Wade in the water, children
Wade in the water
God's a-gonna trouble the water
See that man all dressed in white
God's a-gonna trouble the water
He looks like a man of the Israelite
God's a-gonna trouble the water
Wade in the water
Wade in the water, children
Wade in the water
God's a-gonna trouble the water
See that man all dressed in red
God's a-gonna trouble the water
It looks like the man that Moses led
God's a-gonna trouble the water
Wade in the water
Wade in the water, children
Wade in the water
God's a-gonna trouble the water
Didn't my Lord deliver Daniel
Daniel, Daniel
Didn't my Lord deliver Daniel
Then why not every man?
Didn't my Lord deliver Daniel
Daniel, Daniel
Didn't my Lord deliver Daniel
Why not every man?
Man went down to the river
Man went down to the river
Man went down to the river
Went down there for to pray
Man went down to the river
Man went down to the river
Man went down to the river
To wash his sins away
He washed all day, he washed all night
He washed till his hands were sore
He washed all day, he washed all night
Till he couldn't wash a-no more
Man went down to the river
Man went down to the river
Man went down to the river
(Music fades)
(Applause)
(Juliet Blake) And now, let's give a warm welcome
to the artistic director emerita of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater,
Judith Jamison.
(Applause)
Judith Jamison: Thanks.
How are y'all?
(Audience cheers)
JJ: Yeah, you know you've just been to church?
(Laughter)
You just saw a baptism, yes?
This is from this wonderful piece Mr. Ailey created in 1960,
called "Revelations."
Mr. Ailey was 29 years old when he choreographed this masterpiece.
It's been danced all over the world and understood universally,
because he understood the humanity in us all.
"Revelations" is a reflection of a journey we all take in life,
and, hopefully, triumphantly.
That was the magic of Alvin Ailey.
He was able to see you, in the audience,
see me, as the dancer,
and see the connection between us,
and choreographed works that connected us all.
So you felt he was telling your story,
while I felt I was dancing mine.
I started dancing when I was six years old
in Philadelphia.
I was skinny ...
(Laughter)
Dark chocolate,
and a kid with legs up to my armpits.
And the very first performance I had, at the Judimar School of Dance,
was in a red checkered shirt,
dungarees, pink ballet shoes,
and we were dancing to "I'm an Old Cowhand from the Rio Grande."
I loved every minute of it.
I mean, I literally did love every minute of it,
especially when I heard the applause,
and I knew right there, when I was six, I said,
"That's for me."
(Laughter)
At six, you're not thinking
that's going to be a career of your lifetime,
but that was perfect for that moment.
I danced my way through school, and through college,
and it still didn't dawn on me that that's what I actually wanted to do.
I went to an audition,
which I was dreadful in --
it's the only audition I've had in my life --
and when I was let go from that audition --
because I thought when they were saying, "Thank you very much,"
that meant for me to stay.
(Laughter)
I ran up the steps,
and there was a man sitting on the steps.
And I barely noticed him.
He was an observer.
Three days later, that man called me
and asked me, would I like to join the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.
That's how it happened, folks, that's it.
There's no drama or trauma.
(Applause)
So I spent 15 years dancing with the company,
and then I directed it for something like 21 years.
If you were black and African American and a dancer,
any time between the '40s and the '70s,
you had much to say,
because your complete voice was not being heard.
And you were not being represented as you truly were.
Alvin Ailey had the courage,
right in the middle of the Civil Rights Movement,
to present the truth about who we were --
that our creativity, our beauty,
our intelligence, our talents
were an intrinsic part of the panoply of American culture.
Our mantra has always been to educate, to entertain,
and to lift our audiences.
Mr. Ailey believed that dance came from the people
and needed to be delivered back to the people.
We didn't dance in a vacuum.
It was our mission to serve people.
We call it outreach now,
but it's always been a part of who we were and still are,
60 years later, to this day.
Being inclusive of our audiences --
it's always been an important part of the company.
We ask ourselves, who are we dancing for?
Why are we dancing, if not to show people what it is to be human
and to connect with the audiences that we dance for.
We've always felt responsible to make sure the community understood
that what we do is a part of their heritage.
We just don't do this, also, in America,
we do it all over the world.
We tour more than any other dance company in the world.
After Nelson Mandela was released from prison,
I thought, well, this is the time to go to South Africa.
And that was some outreach.
We went to Johannesburg, Soweto,
and some other townships that were really in dire straits.
And it dawned on me, as we were there, I'm going like,
"Here we are in the seat of Mother Africa,
and we're trying to teach these people how to dance?"
(Laughter)
But it was our African Americanness that they were interested in,
and the culture that we had developed over the last 400 years.
We toured all over the world many times,
and whether we're in Europe or South America or Asia
or somewhere else,
audiences are thrilled and excited.
You sounded thrilled and excited.
Sometimes with tears in their eyes,
because this nonverbal communication really works.
And it's about embracing everyone.
Alvin didn't need to explain to us
what was going on at the time in the '60s and the '70s;
it was obvious why were doing his work.
He knew what the truth of the time was about,
and he was unafraid to reveal it through dance.
He tapped into every emotion he had and we had,
and from angerness to happiness,
to grief and everything in between,
he knew us.
He took our history and turned it into powerful dance.
He and I overlapped generationally.
We didn't have to talk about things so much,
because we understood implicitly our shared responsibilities.
So when he asked me to take over the company
before he passed in 1989,
I felt prepared to carry it forward.
Alvin and I were like parts of the same tree.
He, the roots and the trunk,
and we were the branches.
I was his muse.
We were all his muses.
The ballet "Cry,"
which some of you might have seen --
you're going to see an excerpt of it --
it was made on me,
and Alvin dedicated it to all black women,
especially our mothers.
When Alvin and I went in the studio,
of course he wasn't thinking,
"Here I am, creating an iconic work."
Do you know any artist that does that?
You don't go into the studio
to create anything
but what's coming truthfully from your heart and your spirit.
And you trust that you have a dancer you can share that with.
Rehearsal space is a sacred space,
not to be intruded upon,
because it's about talking to each other through spirit.
You better have some technique on top of that
so you can do the dance.
(Laughter)
He brought his Alvin to "Cry" and I brought my Judy to it.
I just did the steps.
And this was a birthday present for his mother,
because he couldn't afford to get her a tactile gift.
When I performed it the first time,
it was physically and emotionally draining.
I hadn't yet run through the whole piece from beginning to end.
The ballet is 16 minutes long.
It's about a proud woman who has been to hell and back,
from her journey across the Atlantic.
She's exhausted,
she's a queen,
and in this section, you're going to see she is triumphant.
She made it,
and she is, in that last step that she does,
beating away anything negative
with her tremendous strength.
And in the last step, she digs into the earth
and she reaches into the sky ...
because she's clearing space for the next journey.
I performed it in 1971,
and we are still clearing space.
Now let me leave you with one last thought.
Here we are, in the 21st century,
still fighting for civil rights.
Not a day goes by
that we are not made aware of the struggle that continues.
I believe that dance can elevate our human experience
beyond words.
And when you're sitting in the dark,
in the theater,
having a personal experience,
you don't feel blocked or misunderstood.
You feel open,
alive,
and, we hope,
inspired.
Thank you.
(Applause)
(Music: "Right on. Be free." by East Harlem)
I wanna go where the north wind blows
I wanna know what the falcon knows
I wanna go where the wild goose goes
High flyin' bird, high flyin' bird, fly on
I want the clouds over my head
I don't want no store bought bed
I'm gonna live until I'm dead
Mother, mother, mother Save your child
Right on, be free
Right on, be free
Right on, be free
I don't want no store bought bed
Right on
I want the clouds over my head
Be free
Ain't no time to be afraid
Mother, mother, mother Save your child
(Music)
I don't want no store bought bed
Right on
I want the clouds over my head
Be free
Ain't no time to be afraid
Mother save your child
I wanna see a rainbow in the sky
I wanna watch the clouds go by
It might make my load a little light
Lord, Lord, Lord Where will I be tomorrow night?
Right on
Be free
Right on, be free
Right on, be free
Right on, be free
Right on, be free
Right on, be free
Right on, be free
(Music fades)
(Applause)
(Cheers)
(Applause)
(Cheers)
(Applause)
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【TED】Judith Jamison and members of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater: Revelations from a lifetime of dance (Revelations from a lifetime of dance | Judith Jamison and the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater)

20 Folder Collection
林宜悉 published on November 6, 2019
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