The homecoming engagement opens on Friday, February 25th at 8 p.m. with a Battle 10th Anniversary program commemorating 10 years of Artistic Director Robert Battle’s visionary leadership that has moved the Company forward in exciting ways into a seventh decade. The program features Robert Battle’s world premiere For Four, which captures the pent-up energy of a world cooped up during the pandemic set to a Wynton Marsalis jazz score written in 4/4 time. In addition to a new production of Robert Battle’s sensuous, swirling duet Unfold, evoking the tenderness and ecstasy in Gustave Charpentier’s aria “Depuis Le Jour” sung by the incomparable Leontyne Price, signature works will be performed like Ella, In/Side, Love Stories finale, Mass, and Takademe. Battle 10th Anniversary program repeats on Saturday, February 26th at 2 p.m.
, 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, For Four, In/Side, Love Stories finale, Mass, and Unfold. In addition to expanding the Ailey repertory with works by artists as diverse as Kyle Abraham, Mauro Bigonzetti, Ronald K. Brown, Rennie Harris, 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 di