Robert Battle

Robert Battle
Please Credit Photo: Artistic Director Robert Battle. Photo by Andrew Eccles

Robert Battle became artistic director of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in July 2011 after being personally selected by Judith Jamison, making him only the third person to head the Company since it was founded in 1958. Mr. Battle has a long-standing association with the Ailey organization. A frequent choreographer and artist-in-residence at Ailey since 1999, he has set many of his works on Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and Ailey II, and at The Ailey School. The Company’s current repertory includes his ballets The Hunt, In/Side, Strange Humors, and Takademe. In addition to expanding the Ailey repertory with works by artists as diverse as Aszure Barton, Ronald K. Brown, Jacqulyn Buglisi, Bill T. Jones, Wayne McGregor, Robert Moses, Ohad Naharin, Matthew Rushing, Hofesh Shechter, and Christopher Wheeldon, Mr. Battle has also instituted the New Directions Choreography Lab to help develop the next generation of choreographers. Mr. Battle’s journey to the top of the modern dance world began in the Liberty City neighborhood of Miami, Florida. He showed artistic talent early and studied dance at a high school arts magnet program before moving on to Miami’s New World School of the Arts, under the direction of Daniel Lewis and Gerri Houlihan, and finally to the dance program at The Juilliard School, under the direction of Benjamin Harkarvy, where he met his mentor, Carolyn Adams. He danced with the Parsons Dance Company from 1994 to 2001, and also set his choreography on that company starting in 1998. Mr. Battle then founded his own Battleworks Dance Company, which made its debut in 2002 in Düsseldorf, Germany, as the U.S. representative to the World Dance Alliance’s Global Assembly. Battleworks subsequently performed extensively at venues, including The Joyce Theater, Dance Theater Workshop, American Dance Festival, and Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival. Mr. Battle was honored as one of the “Masters of African-American Choreography” by the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in 2005, and he received the prestigious Statue Award from the Princess Grace Foundation-USA in 2007. In 2014, he received an honorary doctorate from The University of the Arts. Most recently, Mr. Battle was named a 2015 Visiting Fellow for The Art of Change, an initiative by the Ford Foundation. He is a sought-after keynote speaker and has addressed a number of high-profile organizations, including the United Nations Leaders Programme and the UNICEF Senior Leadership Development Programme.

Featured News Releases

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Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s 2017 North American Tour Reaches Nearly 20 Cities From February 3 – May 14

Following an expansive five-week holiday season at New York City Center from November 30 – December 31, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater will share its unparalleled artistry with audiences from coast to coast during a 19-city North American tour beginning February 3rd in Philadelphia, PA. On February 7th, a week-long engagement at The Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. kicks off with a gala to benefit Ailey's D.C. programs, including the creation of new works, arts-in-education activities, and scholarships to talented young area dancers to attend The Ailey School in New York.

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Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater Launches Program to Inspire Young New Yorkers, Supported by The Wallace Foundation’s Building Audiences for Sustainability Initiative

The Ailey organization is launching a Young New York program in conjunction with Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s annual holiday season at New York City Center (November 30 – December 31). Supported by The Wallace Foundation as part of a multi-year audience development project, the program will engage people between the ages of 21 – 30 through a series of special events and ticket offers.

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Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater Announces Programming For New York City Center Season, November 30 - December 31, 2016

NEW YORK – August 4, 2016 — Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, New York City Center’s Principal Dance Company, returns to the New York City Center stage from November 30th – December 31st, 2016. In his sixth season as Artistic Director, Robert Battle leads Ailey’s 32 renowned dancers during this annual five-week engagement, which has become a joyous holiday tradition.

Featured Press Coverage

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Dance Teacher Magazine - Lifetime Achievement: Robert Battle

There were many things we could have discussed with Robert Battle, whom we honor this month with the Dance Teacher Lifetime Achievement Award. For instance, there is the charming tale about the boy who wore leg braces and grew up to lead Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.

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The Village Voice - Promised Lands

The formidable Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater closes its spring season at Lincoln Center this week with a challenging "21st Century Voices" bill that features new and recent work by four African-American choreographers, all mid-career award-winners deserving of their exposure.