On my grad school blog a month or two ago I wrote about the "This I Believe" essay project that we assigned a freshman leadership course I work with and posted an excerpt from Martha Graham’s essay. This morning I taught a combo at an audition for a summer dance concert, and this afternoon came across this essay from Judith Jamison, the artistic director of Alvin Ailey Dance Theater. I love the whole thing, but here’s my favorite part:
As dancers, we need to bring our life experiences to the stage. We don’t just want to thrill an audience with how many turns we can do or how high we can jump or raise our legs. Plenty of people can do that with practice. We need to share our truth. When a performance stands out, it’s not just the arms and legs that stay in your mind. What you remember is the feeling you get from the performance, and that feeling comes from the dancer’s expression of self.
- Judith Jamison
As I’m deciding which dancers to work with and choreographing the rest of my piece, this is resonating in my mind.
Who (relative, friend, from the media, etc.) do you REALLY admire? Do you aspire to be like them, or think its doable?
you may have stumped me.
I don’t know if I admire anyone to that degree - there are people who inspire me creatively and professionally, like Mia Michaels, Idina Menzel, Celine Dion, etc., but I wouldn’t say I admire them necessarily. I also think Jennifer Aniston has been one of my favorites for a long time, because she seems pretty down to Earth, all things considered.
As far as people I know in real life, I admire my roommate a lot. I’ve only known her since I moved in in November, but I’ve learned a lot about her, and even though we have our differences, she’s a really caring person who has gone through a lot. For being only 21, she has a good head on her shoulders and knows what she wants in life. She’s also a dancer, so the few times I’ve taken class with her you can feel her love of dance just from being in the room. There are a few people like that in some of the classes I take, and so they make me strive to be a better dancer/regain my love dance when I get burned out.
As to your last question, I’m not sure if it’s doable. I think it’s good to have admiration/inspiration to make yourself a better person, but I think it’s risky to want to be just like someone else, since that will never happen. You are you.