New York – September 1, 2021 – Robert Battle, Artistic Director of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, announced today that internationally renowned performer, choreographer, director, and multi-disciplinary artist Francesca Harper has been appointed Artistic Director of Ailey II, the Ailey organization’s acclaimed company of young dancers. Ms. Harper will assume her duties on September 7, 2021, and will immediately begin preparing for Ailey II’s return to the stage. Ailey II’s 2021-2022 season will kick off in December with participation in Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s annual season at New York City Center, in which Ailey II will perform in Mr. Ailey’s classic Memoria, and will continue with the company’s own 2022 New York City season March 23-April 3 at The Ailey Citigroup Theater, as well as a U.S. tour.
Ailey II is universally renowned for merging the spirit and energy of the country’s best young dance talent with the passion and creative vision of today’s most outstanding emerging choreographers. Founded in 1974 as the Alvin Ailey Repertory Ensemble, the company embodies his pioneering mission to establish an extended cultural community that provides dance performances, training, and community programs for all people. Ailey II has flourished into one of the most popular modern dance companies, combining a rigorous touring schedule with extensive community outreach programs. Dance Magazine calls Ailey II "second to none," and The New York Times declares, "There's nothing like an evening spent with Ailey II, the younger version of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater."