Interviewer subpage 08

Judith Jamison
Dancer, Choreographer
“What makes an artist?”

“To me an artist is someone who brings out what’s deepest within you. They pull everything, everything, everything out of you, and you gladly give it to them. If it were possible, you’d turn yourself inside out because of what they are giving you. An artist makes you feel a part of the universe and takes you out of yourself and plants you in a space of total freedom. Only a true artist has the power to do that. You thank them with applause, but really that’s hardly sufficient.”

“After experiencing such a successful performance career, was it difficult for you to stop dancing? How did that affect you?”

It affected me in a wonderful way. I was ready to stop dancing. My body hurt! I burned my candle at both ends and in the middle. That I’m still walking and breathing and still in one piece is a miracle. If you are trying to be the best dancer that you can be, you have a lot of candle burning to do. Concert dancing is hard, really hard. I performed Cry twenty-six consecutive times, and it nearly killed me. It was an extremely physical and demanding piece. I tried dancing on Broadway, and that takes your body and mind in a whole other direction, and my body still hurt. I came to a point where I said what I had to say on the stage, and I was finished with that statement.”