Jamar Roberts, Resident Choreographer

Jamar Roberts (Miami, FL) has choreographed five works on Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, all to critical acclaim, starting with Members Don’t Get Weary (2016).  During his term as the first Resident Choreographer of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater from 2019-2022, he created  Ode (2019), A Jam Session for Troubling Times (2020), Holding Space (2021), and In a Sentimental Mood (2022)He has also set Gemeos on Ailey II. Mr. Roberts is a graduate of the New World School of the Arts and the Ailey School and has danced for Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Ailey II, and Complexions.  Mr. Roberts won the 2016 Bessie Award for Outstanding Performer and has performed as a guest artist with the Royal Ballet in London.  Commissions include Vail Dance Festival, Fall for Dance, The Juilliard School, BalletX, MoveNYC, New York City Ballet, and Works and Process at the Guggenheim where he created the film Cooped.  The March on Washington Film Festival invited Mr. Roberts to create a tribute to John Lewis and he has also made a film for the LA Opera entitled The First Bluebird in the Morning.  Mr. Roberts was a Director’s Fellow at NYU’s Center for Ballet and the Arts and was recently featured on the cover of Dance Magazine, previously having been on the cover in June 2013 and been named one of “25 to Watch” in 2007.  He first joined the Company in 2002 and retired from dancing in 2021.


Featured News Releases

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater Returns To Lincoln Center's David H. Koch Theater After Three-Year Absence From June 15-19

New York – June 2, 2022 – Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, beloved as one of the world’s most popular dance companies, returns to Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts after a three-year absence for a six-performance engagement at the David H. Koch Theater June 15-19 that caps a decade of Artistic Director Robert Battle’s leadership. In addition to diverse programs featuring world premiere of Ailey Resident Choreographer Jamar Roberts’ In a Sentimental Mood and company premiere of Paul Taylor’s DUET, the season includes The Ailey Spirit Gala Benefit with Honorary Chair Grammy® Emmy® and Tony® Award-winning actress, singer and producer Cynthia Erivo; and An Evening Celebrating Jacqueline Green. Additional highlight includes free Ailey Extension “Dance in Times Square” outdoor workshop series hosted on Fridays at 5pm now through NYC Dance Week.

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater National Tour January 28 - May 8 Celebrates A Decade Of Robert Battle's Leadership And 50th Anniversary Of Alvin Ailey's Cry

NEW YORK – JANUARY 27, 2022 – Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, America’s beloved cultural ambassador to the world, returns to stages on a coast-to-coast National Tour starting January 28 in Philadelphia, kicking off Black History Month at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. on February 1 , and traveling to cities like Atlanta, Miami, Berkeley, Boston, Chicago, and Los Angeles before the finale in Newark on May 8. Marking a decade of leading the Company forward, Artistic Director Robert Battle presents Ailey’s renowned artists in a diverse repertory of premieres, new productions, and Ailey classics. Highlights include a Battle 10th Anniversary program; two world premieres adapted from video to stage, For Four by Robert Battle and Holding Space by Ailey Resident Choreographer Jamar Roberts; the return of hip-hop innovator Rennie Harris’s acclaimed Lazarus; 50 Years of Cry commemorating Ailey’s beloved classic dedicated to “all Black women everywhere—especially our mothers;” and Ailey & Ellington, spotlighting cherished classics from the series of more than a dozen ballets that Alvin Ailey created celebrating the musical genius of the eminent American composer Duke Ellington. Alvin Ailey’s American masterpiece Revelations, which has inspired generations through its powerful storytelling and soul- stirring spirituals since its creation in 1960, will reach all cities on the North American tour.

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater Announces Programming For New York City Center Season December 1-19, 2021

NEW YORK – UPDATED October 19, 2021— Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, New York City Center’s Principal Dance Company and America’s beloved cultural ambassador to the world, returns to the stage for a much-anticipated annual season in their “home” theater December 1–19, 2021. Marking a decade of leading the Company forward, Artistic Director Robert Battle will present Ailey’s renowned artists in a diverse repertory of premieres, new productions and Ailey classics. The repertory features two world premieres adapted from video to stage by Robert Battle and Ailey Resident Choreographer Jamar Roberts as well as four new productions.

Featured Press Coverage


Vanity Fair - “I Don’t Make Dance For Myself”: Jamar Roberts on Choreography, His Days At Alvin Ailey, And What Comes Next

After two decades, the acclaimed dancer has retired from the company where he made a huge splash in contemporary dance—but, as he explains to Vanity Fair, this is just the beginning. On a Monday afternoon in late November, Jamar Roberts, a longtime star of the Alvin Ailey Dance Theater, was standing in a studio at the company’s expansive, glass-walled school in midtown Manhattan. But instead of joining the group of barefoot and masked dancers as they rehearsed his piece “Holding Space,” Roberts wore cargo pants and kept on pair of black-and-white polka dot Converse. In August, the 39-year-old dancer announced his retirement from the company he’d been a part of since 2002. Now, he watched the rehearsal as choreographer.


The New Jersey Star Ledger - The Last Dance: Jamar Roberts Takes Final Bow For Alvin Ailey Dance Theater

Perhaps you don't remember the exact steps or the story behind the dance. What's unforgettable, however, is the dancer the tall, commanding man whose strength and grace are barely contained on a stage. Jamar Roberts, the resident choreographer of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, has been a captivating presence with the company for nearly 20 years. His last dance with Ailey will be Thursday at the troupe's Manhattan home, New York City Center. The program, "Celebrating Jamar Roberts: Jamar Roberts Solo/ Holding Space/ For Four/ Revelations," is part of the company's annual residency at the New York City theater through Dec. 19.


The New York Times - Now They Can Focus On Choreography

When star dancers retire, it's always a little sad. And if those dancers are still in their prime, fans can feel an especially acute sense of loss. The performances that won't happen are easy to imagine. But in the uncommon case when the dancer has already achieved distinction as a choreographer and is retiring to focus on that craft, the loss is offset by potential gain. The dancer will be absent from the stage, but the dancer's spirit and sensibility might spread across it... On Dec. 9, Jamar Roberts is giving his farewell performance with Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.