Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater Announces In-Person Season
Alvin Ailey’s upcoming season of American Dance Theater at New York City Center will celebrate Robert Battle’s 10 years as artistic director, the company said on Wednesday. After the struggles of the past 17 months, Battle is more willing to seize the opportunity than he otherwise could have been.
“Being part of the problem solving that took place and sort of making our way through it actually made me 10 years more fully,” he said in an interview. “There’s something to go through that makes me think ‘Hey, if I have to go through this, then I’m definitely going to take the voucher and I’m going to go.'”
During his tenure at Ailey, Battle founded the New Directions Choreography Lab, an initiative to support emerging and mid-career dancers, and appointed Jamar Roberts as the company’s first resident choreographer. “When I first started creating I was fortunate to have David Parsons give me the floor,” Battle said. “I always wanted to pay up front.”
His support has paid off. Roberts has created several critically acclaimed dances, including “Members Don’t Get Weary” and “Ode,” since taking office in 2019. And now, to focus on his choreography, Roberts is retiring from the dance hall. dance; his farewell performance on December 9 was heralded with the slate of the season.
Two dances that debuted online will be performed live for the first time during the three-week engagement downtown. Battle’s “For Four”, a four-dancer piece to a jazz score by Wynton Marsalis, will make its stage debut alongside Roberts’ “Holding Space” on December 3rd.
New productions of older works will also be featured throughout the season: Ailey’s “Pas de Duke”, performed by Jacqueline Green and Yannick Lebrun atop the Woolworth Building for a dance video in 2020; “The River”, Ailey’s collaboration with Duke Ellington from 1970; a solo by Ailey, “Reflections in D”; and “Unfold”, a more recent work by Battle.
Looking to the future, Battle said he would like to focus more on preserving and sharing the works of underrated choreographers: “The notion of being a repository for historical works I’m really interested in. really exploit that. “
Tickets go on sale October 12. More information is available at alvinailey.org.
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