Style Observer

MY KINGSTON

Sunday, October 01, 2017

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Michael Jackson Jr

Dancer, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre

What are your first impressions of Kingston?

I was hit by the colours and the beauty. I loved the range of browns merging with the bright reds, yellows, and greens of the homes and clothing.

What's the most memorable meal that you have enjoyed in Kingston?

Jerk chicken on the city's streets. The vendor was grilling on the sidewalk and the chicken was amazing!

What would you do if you were mayor of Kingston for a day?

I would make it an official dance day and have everyone — young and old — in the city moving all day long!

What would be your recommendations to a first-time visitor to Kingston?

Go to the Little Theatre on Tom Redcam Avenue. It is a beautiful theatre with so much history.

What can the body say that the voice cannot?

The body can express love in a way the voice cannot. Dancing a piece about love is so much more emotional than speaking it.

As you get lost within a piece of choreography, where does your mind travel?

My mind travels to my first time dancing at the Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Washington, DC. I started dancing at 14 years old. Those times were simpler and my body was in a lot less pain.

How do you keep your talent in a perpetual state of growth and renewal?

Gym and yoga all the time.

Which classical dance piece continues to be of artistic influence to you?

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre's Revelations still speaks to me to this day. The suite changes my mood if I'm down. It always lifts me up, and still feels very current to what's happening in our world today.

How important is storytelling to the idea of continuity?

It is vital to the success of melding the old and the new. We need storytelling to continue this legacy our ancestors worked so hard to save.

What are the responsibilities or expectations of being young, gifted and black in this day and age?

To constantly tell the truth through art. Even if it's hard to say or uncomfortable, it's necessary to speak your truth and no one else's. Revel in your own uniqueness.

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