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

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s “Modern American Songbook” Opening Night Gala Benefit Performance And Party Honors Board President Debra L. Lee - Wednesday, November 29th At 7pm

(New York) November 9, 2017 – On Wednesday, November 29th at 7pm, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s five-week holiday season kicks off with a star-studded gala benefit, including a performance at New York City Center and party at the New York Hilton Midtown Grand Ballroom. The Gala honors Ailey Board President Debra L. Lee (Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of BET Networks) for her commitment to the advancement of arts and culture and her dedication to the organization, which has helped steer Ailey to success since she joined the Board in 2002. Honorary Chairs for the evening are music and film stars Queen Latifah and Janelle Monáe.

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater Announces Programming for New York City Center Season, November 29 - December 31

NEW YORK – UPDATED October 27, 2017 — Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, New York City Center’s Principal Dance Company, returns to the theater’s stage from November 29th – December 31st, 2017. Artistic Director Robert Battle leads Ailey’s 32 extraordinary dancers during this annual five-week engagement, which has become a joyous holiday tradition. The repertory features more than two dozen diverse works by some of the world’s preeminent dance-makers, including world premieres by Spanish choreographer Gustavo Ramírez Sansano and Ailey dancer Jamar Roberts, as well as new productions by Twyla Tharp, Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, and Talley Beatty.

Ailey Wynn Wing Opening Press Release 10-19-17_ FinalDraft_cl

Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation Opens Its New Elaine Wynn & Family Education Wing At The Joan Weill Center For Dance

NEW YORK, NY, October 19, 2017 — At a festive ribbon-cutting, celebrated on the evening of October 18, leaders of the Ailey organization joined with dancers, students, donors, and friends from New York City’s dance community to open The Elaine Wynn & Family Education Wing, a 10,000-square-foot expansion of Ailey’s permanent home, The Joan Weill Center for Dance.

Featured Press Coverage


CBS Miami - Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater

Focus on South Florida host Rudabeh Shahbazi sits down for an extended one-on-one interview with Robert Battle. The Liberty City native is the creative director of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.


CBS Miami - Focus On South Florida: Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater

Focus on South Florida host Rudabeh Shahbazi sits down for an extended one-on-one interview with Robert Battle. The Liberty City native is the creative director of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. He is in town ahead of the company's February performances at the Arsht Center which celebrate Black History Month.