Sunday, January 22, 2012

Harlem Diary: Judith Jamison, Ailey Dancer
Baptized at Abyssinian Baptist Church

Today, Judith Jamison the former principal dancer and director of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Co., was baptized at Harlem's historic Abyssinian Baptist Church. To the stirring voices of the choir singing, "Take me to the Water," Miss Jamison was submerged in the church's baptismal pool to the thunderous and sustained applause of an approving congregation and visiting members of the Ailey troupe.

For many in attendance, like thousands of others who'd witnessed her spectacular dancing in Alvin Ailey's master work, Revelations, she was now, once more, taking us, "wading in the water."

At that moment one could feel a joyous and loving communal memory embraced her again, as she participated in this most traditional of African American religous rituals.