The Dawn of a New Day for Alvin Ailey Company



The Vision

Life+Times: What were your intentions with this first season? Were you looking to create a new energy in the dance, explore new directions?
Robert Battle
: My intention was to celebrate all that the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater is — past, future and present. I want to honor the past and continue to exam how we got to where we are, while also remaining in the present with choreographers like Rennie Harris, hip-hop, HIV/AIDS and other social and political issues of today. We are also looking towards the future with other choreographers and people with new and exciting ways to express both new and old ideas. I want to continue to keep audiences on that precipice with us.

L+T: How do you form relationships with the dancers? How did you get them to trust you and your vision?
: Simply put, it has to do with the audition process. You look for people that you connect with. Not only are these the most talented dancers in the world, but they are people who want to say something through movement and not just be decorative. I identify with that — so I identify with them because of that. But I think it’s also because they know the importance of this Company that’s been around for over 50 years. They know that this Company means so much to this country and the world. We are cultural ambassadors for our country — what could be more important than that? So I think they are on this journey with me.

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