A reunion performance of retired dancers from the Alvin Ailey Dance Theatre on New Year’s Eve. Wow. I used to go to watch this company every year when they came to UMass back when I was in college…back when Judith Jamison was performing Cry. And so when I saw this article from the NY Times yesterday, it blew my mind.
One of the dancers says, “When you’re younger, you have everything — you have the flexibility, you have no fear. But you don’t savor every step, every movement of every fingertip, every beat of the music. I feel like I’m tasting food for the first time.”
Another, “began to see the dance from a new perspective, not just as a showcase for technique but as an expression of all the things that life has put into you.”
Another dancer said, “At a young age, you look at it physically: how can I do these steps, how can I bend back further, how my leg can go up higher?” she said. “But the older you get, the more you’re comfortable with yourself. I know where I stand and how I feel.”
And finally, “Do I admire those bodies?” asked Ms. Wood, speaking of the young dancers in the current company. “Absolutely. But I know who I am.”
And in life, this is the bottom line.
Yours in aging with class,