Masazumi Chaya

Associate Artistic Director

Masazumi Chaya was born in Fukuoka, Japan, where he began his classical ballet training. Upon moving to New York in December 1970, he studied modern dance and performed with the Richard Englund Repertory Company. Mr. Chaya joined Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in 1972 and performed with the Company for 15 years. In 1988, he became the Company's Rehearsal Director after serving as Assistant Rehearsal Director for two years. A master teacher, both on tour with the Company and in his native Japan, he served as choreographic assistant to Alvin Ailey and John Butler. In 1991, Mr. Chaya was named Associate Artistic Director of the Company.  He continues to provide invaluable creative assistance in all facets of its operations.

In 2002, Mr. Chaya coordinated the Company’s appearance at the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree-lighting ceremony, broadcast on NBC. Mr. Chaya has restaged numerous ballets, including Alvin Ailey's Flowers for the State Ballet of Missouri (1990) and The River for the Royal Swedish Ballet (1993), Ballet Florida (1995), National Ballet of Prague (1995), Pennsylvania Ballet (1996), and Colorado Ballet (1998). He has also restaged The MoocheThe Stack-UpEpisodesBad BloodHidden Rites, and Witness for the Company. At the beginning of his tenure as Associate Artistic Director, Mr. Chaya restaged Ailey's For ‘Bird’ - With Love for a “Dance in America” program entitled Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater: Steps Ahead.  In 2000, he restaged Ailey’s Night Creature for the Rome Opera House andThe River for La Scala Ballet.  In 2003, he restaged The River for North Carolina Dance Theatre and for Julio Bocca’s Ballet Argentina. Most recently, Mr. Chaya restaged Blues SuiteForgotten TimeStreamsUrban Folk Dance, and Vespers for the Company.

As a performer, Mr. Chaya appeared on Japanese television in both dramatic and musical productions. He wishes to recognize the artistic contribution and spirit of his late friend and fellow artist, Michihiko Oka.

Featured News Releases

Featured Press Coverage


Wall Street Journal - Ailey Ensemble Honors Its Founder

When the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater company takes to the stage of New York City Center for the opening of its 60th anniversary on Wednesday night, it will have an unexpected guest of sorts. Namely, Alvin Ailey himself.

The Star-Ledger - Duking It Out At NJPAC

The Star-Ledger - Duking It Out At NJPAC

As the associate artistic director of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, which returns to the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark this weekend, Masazumi Chaya can drop into the studio anytime and watch any rehearsal he pleases.

Outbound Magazine - Masazumi Chaya: Pointe Man

Outbound Magazine - Masazumi Chaya: Pointe Man

Masazumi Chaya was expected to follow his parents' footsteps in medicine but was drawn to theater. After graduating from high school, he worked as a dresser for film and TV star ferry Ito, who encouraged him to study singing, acting, and dance.