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.

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Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater Returns To Paris June 25 To July 21 For Engagement At Les Etes De La Danse 8th Annual International Dance Festival

The 32-performance engagement, supported by Bank of American Merrill Lynch, follows successful sold-out and extended festival appearances in 2009 and 2006. After an acclaimed 27-city North American Tour, Ailey's extraordinary dancers will move audiences in France in a series of 15 premieres, new productions and repertory favorites, sharing internationally the next era in Ailey history led by dynamic Artistic Director Robert Battle.

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