As it turned out, Judy was able to spend a second year at the Wigman School. She received a study grant of $2420 from the Canada Council, which made her very proud. Throughout this year, she sought the right path to satisfy her growing artistic needs and mollify the family expectations. She wrote to the University of California, to Temple University in Philadelphia and to New York University, investigating their master's programmes in dance, and made a shifting series of plans for her future.
Judy seized on the opportunities of being in Europe with an avidity that provokes the question of whether she might have been happier living and working there long term. She travelled and studied during breaks from the Wigman School whenever she could manage. For two summers she attended the annual course in Cologne, studying there with Alvin Ailey, Henryk Tomaszewski of the Polish Mime Theatre, and expanding her knowledge of Graham technique studying with Mary Hinkson and Yuriko. At Easter in 1967 she travelled to Paris where she studied with Anna Hittelholzer, and with the renowned mime Étienne Decroux. Twice she went to London to study at the Laban Centre.
Judy's main focus, however, was on her training in Germany. Constantly struggling to keep her spirits light in the concrete chill of Berlin, Judy pressed on. Her growing reverence for Mary Wigman buoyed her along. She made several more dances by spring and her steely determination began to have results in the way she was seen by her teachers.
You can be proud of me at this time. My work has been publicly acknowledged and praised -- the school treats me like Cleopatra now, and Mary is really proud. They all said my dancing was marvellous, charming, exciting, deep ... after so much struggling, practically in the dark, to come to this point is a miracle.
As part of a three-day exam, which constituted the graduating exercises for students in the school, Judy gave a paper on the theme given to her by Mary Wigman, "The Way and Aim of the Dance Teacher and Choreographer". The School was closing its doors forever on July 15. On the night of July 14, Judy gave a concert in Mary Wigman's studio. She danced eight pieces she had created during the two years she was in the School: Trance, Water, Prayer for Peace, Figure of Fate, Prophet, Bird, La Cathedrale and Amen.
I have gone through a marvellous change of fortune. First, my exam -- teaching, choreography, lecture, technique -- went so well as to be unbelievable. I was hailed as nothing short of great and have been granted the highest standing for this degree ever given in a period of over fifty years ... Everyone applauded my work tremendously. After the last dance everyone had tears in their eyes. Mary said 'You are a teacher, a dancer, an artist, you have nothing to be afraid of.' I must believe she is right, and not become lost again -- or ever become a hermit.
She had been triumphant. Her artistic will had sustained her through two gruelling years of training and the trials of loneliness and hardship. But how to sustain the challenge? She was afraid of returning to her homeland, afraid of struggling alone in her art. With great trepidation she made her way back to Canada. (Next Page)