Tai Jimenez

Neighborhood Salon Luminary

Tai Jimenez (Black Light) is haunted by a voracious Jinni. She teaches an irreverent form of ballet at the Boston Conservatory at Berklee, Harvard University, Phillips Academy Andover, Alvin Ailey Company classes, and other institutions. She was a ballerina for over twenty years and served as a Principal Dancer for both the Dance Theatre of Harlem and the Boston Ballet. She also choreographs.

While she loved ballet, she always yearned to find a dance language of her own. In her late 40s, Tai adopted her stage name, Black Light, started getting tattooed, and began performing in a style she affectionately calls Broken Puppet: “Broken,” because being broken is what allowed her to finally let go of her self-image, and “Puppet” refers to the sublime state of allowing oneself to be danced by the Master. Broken Puppet is a combination of Ballet, Butoh, Modern, Hip-Hop, Yoga, and hot fudge sundaes. In this meditation-slash-dance, she tunes into a state that is a response to pure listening, transcendent of thought. 

One of her teachers, the great Shaman from Burkina Faso Malidoma Some, told her that “dancing is a decoy for the kind of healing you are meant to bring.” More than anything, Tai is a lover of Spirit. She is concerned with the nature of consciousness itself and gets a kick out of subverting linear thought structures. Tai would like to thank her family, Cyrille, Colibri and Chulo, for anchoring her to this world and for putting up with her incessant twirling.

Even though I'd visited the Gardner prior to becoming a Luminary, I've become more intimate with it. It's like a new friend in Boston.

— Tai Jimenez

During her time as a Neighborhood Salon Luminary, Tai has been a featured dancer bringing the historic Tapestry Room to life during our Third Thursdays: Salon Style event.