Philadelphia’s dance titan Judith Jamison is on a 24-city tour in her last season as artistic director of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and returned home this weekend with a showcase of classics and new dances.
On Saturday night the Academy roof came off at Christopher Huggin’s tribute Anointed. Which dancer Abdur-Rahim Jackson describes as ” a tribute to Miss Jamison about when she met Mr. Ailey and you hear her voice narrating the piece. The piece interprets how he changed her life. The second part is about those who collaborated with him to help keep the company going after he died. The last section is about everyone celebrating and continuing his legacy.”
Last year, Jamison announced that Robert Battle was director designate of the company. Battle, an accomplished dancer choreographer in his own right, has created many works for AAADT, as well as for other companies. Battle’s explosive ballet for the Ailey men called The Hunt. It has a cultish look with the men barechested and in monkish black tribal shirts with red lining. It is ritualized and conjures the tests of brotherhood and nature of aggression.
Later, at a reception at the Academy of Music ballroom, Judith received an honorarium from Mayor Nutter and accolades from hometown colleagues, family and friends. She was most gracious in accepting and introducing her dancers and Robert Battle as her successor.