Robert Battle

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Robert Battle
Born August 28, 1972 (1972-08-28) (age 46)
Jacksonville, Florida, U.S.
Education Juilliard School (1994)
Occupation dancer, choreographer
Years active 1994–present

Robert Battle (born August 28, 1972 in Jacksonville, Florida, USA)[1] is a dancer, choreographer and the Artistic Director of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.

Early life and education[edit]

Originally from the Liberty City community of Miami, Florida, Battle was raised by his great uncle Willie Horne and his cousin Dessie Horne[2] in economically poor living conditions.[3] He studied at the New World School of the Arts before graduating from the Juilliard School,[2] where he received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 1994.[4]


Upon graduation from Juilliard, he joined the Parsons Dance Company. He founded his own Battleworks Dance Company in 2001.[2]

Battle was named one of the Masters of African American Choreography by the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in 2005.[1]

In 2015 Battle was named a Ford Foundation Art of Change Fellow.

Alvin Ailey[edit]

He began the directorship on July 1, 2011, and is its third director since the company's 1958 inception. When receiving the position Battle says, "I hope to be worthy of this tremendous responsibility that I've been given, and to honor it in the only way Alvin Ailey would have accepted: by keeping it now, alive and moving forward".[5] Although Battle was never formally part of the Ailey company prior to his appointment, making him the first artistic director with no direct connection to the company or to Ailey himself, he contributed a number of works to the company's repertoire, and had long been recognized as the anointed successor to Judith Jamison. As Jamison was in an interview she says, "that Battle's choreography has the ability to draw audiences into his work, and it reminds her of Alvin".[6] He served several terms as artist-in-residence with Ailey.[7]


  1. ^ a b "Robert Battle Biography". The History Makers. August 27, 2010. Retrieved January 12, 2012.
  2. ^ a b c Kourlas, Gia (May 7, 2010). "For New Ailey Leader, It's All in the Family". New York Times. Retrieved January 12, 2012.
  3. ^ Acocella, Joan (December 19, 2011). "New Move". The New Yorker. Retrieved April 12, 2012.
  4. ^ "Alumni News". Juilliard School. March 2010. Archived from the original on 2011-11-11. Retrieved April 12, 2012. Robert Battle (BFA ’94)
  5. ^ "Robert Battle To Take Over Alvin Ailey Dance Company". Huffington Post. April 29, 2010. Retrieved January 12, 2012.
  6. ^ Wakin, Daniel J. (April 28, 2010). "Ailey Company Names New Director". New York Times. Retrieved January 12, 2012.
  7. ^ "Robert Battle talks of next steps for Ailey dance troupe". Los Angeles Times. May 3, 2010. Retrieved January 12, 2012.

External links[edit]