Ailey II makes its NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts debut March 29 – April 2, sharing two programs of premieres and returning favorites with audiences during its annual New York season. The 12 young dancers return to the New York stage after a 25-city world tour to share their artistry and prowess in an expansive repertory by emerging and established choreographers, including Leila Da Rocha, Jean Emile, Jae Man Joo, Ray Mercer, Bridget L. Moore, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater member Jamar Roberts, and former Ailey dancer Marcus Jarrell Willis
MARTELL RUFFIN (Chicago, IL) began his formal dance training at the Joffrey Ballet in Chicago in 2009. He attended Chicago High School for the Arts under, then director, Lisa Johnson-Willingham, former dancer of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. Mr. Ruffin has attended dance intensives at Joffrey Ballet, Dance Theatre of Harlem, Complexions, and received first place in the all-city NAACP ACT-SO Competition 2011. Mr. Ruffin trained at The Ailey School as a scholarship student and has performed works by Lisa Johnson-Willingham, Earl Mosley, George Faison, Darrell Grand Moultrie, and Matthew Rushing. This is his first season with Ailey II.