Robert Battle

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 Ella, The Hunt, In/Side, No Longer Silent, and Mass – a 2017 Company premiere. In addition to expanding the Ailey repertory with works by artists as diverse as Kyle Abraham, Aszure Barton, Ronald K. Brown, Christopher Wheeldon, Rennie Harris, Hofesh Schechter, Jiří Kylián, Wayne McGregor, Robert Moses, Ohad Naharin, and Paul Taylor, 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 and visited the White House to accept from President Obama, on behalf of Alvin Ailey, the National Medal of Freedom – the nation’s highest civilian honor. Mr. Battle was named a 2015 Visiting Fellow for The Art of Change, an initiative by the Ford Foundation. In October 2015, Simon & Schuster published MY STORY, MY DANCE: Robert Battle’s Journey to Alvin Ailey, an inspiring children’s book based on Mr. Battle’s life. 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

Ailey Ascending 60th Anniversary Celebration Honors Groundbreaking Founder While Taking Bold New Leaps To Elevate Organization's Reach And Impact

August 1, 2018 (NEW YORK CITY) —When Alvin Ailey and a small group of African American modern dancers first took the stage in 1958, appearing at New York City’s 92nd Street Y, the engagement was for one night only—but it turned out to be the start of a new era in the performing arts. Mr. Ailey became one of the groundbreaking greats in African American history, while the work of his Company grew beyond the limits of the stage to encompass education at all levels, community outreach and cultural diplomacy. Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater now embodies six decades of achievement, celebrating the human spirit with performances that unite and inspire all.

Step Up Your Dance Moves This Summer At Ailey Extension With Performance Workshop Series & Master Classes

(New York) July 20, 2018 – Ailey Extension invites dancers to find their summer groove with exciting workshops and master classes. In addition to its annual Summer Performance Workshop series, Ailey Extension will offer an Alonzo King LINES Ballet Master Class with Meredith Webster and a “Werk That Twerk” workshop with famed hip-hop instructor TweetBoogie. These opportunities allow students to refine their technique, boost stage presence, and perform movement highlighting their personal style while learning from some of New York City’s top instructors at The Ailey Studios.

Ailey Extension Brings Dance To Future Generations With Summer Workshops & Weekly Classes

(New York) July 11, 2018 – This summer, Ailey Extension is offering a variety of unique dance programs for young, aspiring dancers. With one or two-week performance intensives and weekly training classes taught by New York City’s premiere choreographers and instructors, kids and teens can enjoy developing technique, enhancing musicality, and releasing creative expression. All classes take place at The Joan Weill Center for Dance – home of the world-renowned Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Ailey II, and The Ailey School.

Featured Press Coverage

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Amanpour & Company - Robert Battle

The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater was born out of the civil rights movement and has continued celebrating the African American experience for 60 years. Hard Sreenivasan sits down with its artistic director, Robert Battle.

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News 12 Bronx - AileyCamp Celebrates 30 Years Of Teaching Kids To Dance

THE BRONX - The prestigious Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater's AileyCamp is celebrating its 30th anniversary. About 1,000 kids citywide are participating in the weekslong, free summer program to learn the art of different types of dance, including ballet, modern, jazz and West African. The kids will get to show off what they learned with a performance next month at the Hostos Center for the Arts & Culture. This year marks 60 years since the dance company was founded. AileyCamp was the last foundation created by Ailey before his death in 1989. Organizers say the camp is made possible by funding through Children’s Aid.

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ABC 10 News Miami - Miami Dance Camp Brings Out New Confidence In Students

Campers in Miami are learning a variety of artistic talents this summer that will help them learn about themselves. AileyCamp teaches students West African dance to modern dance, as well as poetry and life skills. Each year only 110 students are chosen, out of hundreds of Miami-Dade students ages 11 to 14 who apply.