Picture a strong, solitary dancer onstage. Tall and sinewy, she is constantly moving. Her hands and fingers seem to speak as she glides, leaps, and fills the stage. Your eyes are riveted to her, seeing both grace and power. You feel the rhythm and sensuality of her movement. Although the dancer's movements appear effortless, you intuitively know that they are the result of countless hours of practice, an iron-willed determination to ignore pain, and an acute awareness of her physicality.
The dancer is Judith Jamison, one of the world's premier modern dancers and choreographers. She began dancing at age six, and her professional home for most of her life has been the Alvin Ailey American ...