Mass

Artistic Director Robert Battle’s Mass features a score by John Mackey, with whom he most recently collaborated on 2015’s Awakening. The work features 16 dancers showcasing Mr. Battle’s signature ritualistic choreography. 

The genesis of this work came to me while seeing Verdi's Requiem at Carnegie Hall,” explains Robert Battle. “I found myself utterly absorbed in the intricacies of how the choir moved as a unit and then organized and condensed themselves in the pews. The juxtaposition of the choir themselves constrained by space while their voices traveled through the hall was fascinating. I began creating the movement you will see in Mass by deconstructing the chorus. I wanted an original score and was familiar with John Mackey from previous works I had created, making him a clear choice for the composer.” 

The ballet was originally created for a “New Dancesprogram at The Juilliard School in November 2004. The New York Times review of the performance declared, “Mr. Battle, the youngest choreographer, has recently made a name for himself with original rapid-fire movement and unexpected imagery. The Juilliard Percussion Ensemble, at the rear of the stage, provided the sound, growing in intensity. Mr. Battle took the senior class along the same path. The dancers scooted around, huddled, and worked themselves up wonderfully into astounding vigor. The ritual ended with the leader throwing himself to the floor and a group flying out into the wings.” 

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 Announces Lincoln Center Season Capping Artistic Director Robert Battle's 10th Anniversary June 15-19, 2022

New York – April 21, 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’ David H. Koch Theater June 15-19, 2022, for a six- performance engagement that caps a decade of Artistic Director Robert Battle’s leadership. Ailey’s acclaimed dancers bring to life four diverse, dynamic programs featuring the world premiere of Ailey Resident Choreographer Jamar Roberts’s In a Sentimental Mood, the company premiere of Paul Taylor’s Duet, Alvin Ailey’s The River, a Battle 10th Anniversary program, and more. Alvin Ailey’s masterpiece Revelations provides the uplifting finale of each performance.

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.

Featured Press Coverage

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San Francisco Chronicle - Review: Classic ‘Revelations’ Feeds The Soul As Alvin Ailey Company Returns To Cal Performances

Alvin Ailey’s “Revelations” is back in the flesh — and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater is dancing it as rousingly as ever. If you’ve never seen “Revelations,” or haven’t gotten a dose in a few years, make haste to the Ailey company’s current run at UC Berkeley’s Cal Performances, where this eternal and indestructible 1960 classic is slated to cap every program (there are five of them) on offer through Sunday, April 3. And brace yourself; as one longtime fan was heard telling a newcomer on opening night Thursday, March 29, “You’re about to go to church.”

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Dance Magazine: Robert Battle At Full Throttle

When you’re enjoying the easygoing, joke-telling manner of Robert Battle as the welcoming emcee of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, you might not realize there is a ferocious choreographer underneath all that charm. To celebrate his 10 years as artistic director, at New York City Center on Tuesday night the company presented seven works Battle’s created over the last 22 years. Each one held bold surprises—even for those of us familiar with his work.