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Oh my goodness, I had no idea Dwana was leaving Ailey. I'm shocked and distraught! Does anyone know what she is doing now or what her plans are?

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Ailey's site is now offering their NYC Season's schedule to the public (there was a link for members a month ago, but that was just a display listing each performance's dances). What they offer now is really user-friendly, as every dance on each day's program is linked to a very detailed article on that ballet (they may dance barefoot, but a number of these works are ballets). Since they program in the manner that pre-block NYCB did, you can really take advantage of mixing-matching with the aid of these convenient linkings. They even tell you when each program ends, quite useful to train-catchers. Ailey just gets it.

Of course there is anticipation of their rescension of Bejart's Firebird (on a new thread elsewhere on BT). Former post-Farrell Bejart Prima Shonach Mirk Robles has set the ballet on the company, somewhat interesting in that the bird(s) are men in Bejart's rebellion/revolution version. As tickets (top price $150!) go on sale soon, hopefully an appropriate moderator will place a link to City Center, wherever it is supposed to go...(some ballets, but not a ballet company, so where?). Anyway, the Ailey info is here:

http://www.alvinailey.org/page.php?p=pcalny&sec=schedule

By the way, not a bad idea to join their (free) Ailey Club. They've been running some interesting blogs by dancers and a choreographer (what happens when the choreographer is injured and can't demonstrate while choreographing?).

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Judith Jamison to retire as AAADC Artistic Director June, 2011

This came in today's e-mail, and since it is a "patron mail" rather than a press release or announcement I am not sure where to post it.

February 28,2008

Dear Friends,

I want you to be among the first to learn of my decision to step aside in June 2011 after serving as Artistic Director of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater for more than 20 years. Since 1965 when I joined as a dancer, I have been passionately committed to this company, and I will remain fully active as Artistic Director for the next three years. I will then become Artistic Director Emerita and serve as an ambassador for the company for many more years to come.

As we approach our 50th anniversary, it seems appropriate to consider how best to advance the artistic direction of the organization under new leadership. I have held this company in trust for Alvin Ailey, always feeling that he had placed in my hands not a mere company but a living, breathing spirit. It is now time for me to pass on the great gift that I have held, making sure that the next hands to receive it are strong and capable.

I will work closely with Associate Artistic Director Masazumi Chaya and the Board of Trustees to ensure a smooth transition. Beginning this process now, allows us the time to be thoughtful and deliberate.

Your support and participation are vital. I am confident that the AAADT will continue to bring great joy and pleasure to so many, and I urge you to give your full support during our anniversary period, for it will matter greatly to Ailey’s continued success.

Sincerely,

[signed Judith Jamison]

Artistic Director

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater

I would like to thank Ms. Jamison for her remarkable service to the company, to the nation, to the world, and to Art.

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I am so sorry to learn this, but thank you for posting, drb.

Ms. Jamison has been the rare (unique?) second-generation artisitic director who kept the company true to the founder's vision, with artistic standards at least as high as they were when she assumed the post. She is a candidate for cloning.

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I am so sorry to learn this, but thank you for posting, drb.

Ms. Jamison has been the rare (unique?) second-generation artisitic director who kept the company true to the founder's vision, with artistic standards at least as high as they were when she assumed the post. She is a candidate for cloning.

While the dance world will miss her, this announcement is testimony to the strength of the Ailey company as an organization: it will survive her departure, and probably continue to thrive under whoever takes it over in 2011. Ailey has done an exemplary job of overcoming "founder's syndrome," in which a company's fate is tied too closely to the personality of the founding AD. (This is a chronic problem for nonprofits in general.) I think we can all call some examples to mind--and not all are companies named after their founders!

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