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Augmenting lifelong performance with deliberate practice

Alums-danceWith Will­ing Spirit, a Reprise for Ailey Dancers (The New York Times):

  • The voice on the phone belonged to Masazumi Chaya, the asso­ciate artis­tic direc­tor of Alvin Ailey Amer­i­can Dance The­ater, and he had a star­tling propo­si­tion. Would she — Eliz­a­beth Roxas-Dobrish, 55 years old, for­mer Ailey super­star and cur­rent artificial-hip owner — come out of retire­ment to dance at a spe­cial per­for­mance on New Year’s Eve? …“Are you kid­ding me?” she responded. No, he was not kid­ding, and even­tu­ally the answer was yes, she would do it. And it was yes, too, for a hand­ful of other Ailey alumni who received sim­i­lar calls…
  • Robert Bat­tle, Ailey’s artis­tic direc­tor, said the dancers were of course being held to a high stan­dard, but the spirit was just as impor­tant as rel­a­tive per­fec­tion. “Maybe they might feel that they can’t do it exactly the way they did, but maybe that’s not the point,” he said. “The point is to be where they are.”

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