Necessary Luxury: Judith Jamison

James Wojcik

A highly personal inventory of essential items

Artistic Director, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater

“I’m sixty-six now, so I’m trying to divest myself of a lot of stuff, but the things I carry on tour with me are my drawing materials: old-fashioned China markers—the kind where you have to pull the string—and pads from Borden & Riley. I just sketch elemental things. Our ballet Among Us, which just had its première, is based on my drawings. I always have my Nintendo DSi and the games that are supposed to be good for your mind. I order in food, and the dancers and I play together. I use a Kindle, but the last tactile book I bought was called Moko Jumbies—photographs of those people in Trinidad who walk on stilts in parades. The colors are intense and beautiful.”