Robert Battle

Robert Battle

  • Artistic director, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater


During his fellowship, Robert will continue his explorations of contemporary African American dance idioms, in partnership with choreographer Rennie Harris and members of the company.

Robert Battle is among the country’s leading choreographers and one of just three artists who have led the Alvin Ailey Dance Theater since its founding in 1958. Widely admired for his commitment to commissioning new work and spotting young talent, Robert launched the New Directions Choreography Lab in 2012 to develop the next generation of choreographers, a key component of his vision for Ailey’s future. Under Robert’s leadership, Ailey continues to perform and teach in numerous US cities and serve as one of the leading international ambassadors for American culture.

Robert began his career in dance at a high school arts magnet program in Miami. His exceptional talent earned him positions at the New World School for the Arts and subsequently the Juilliard School. He honed his dance technique while performing with the Parsons Dance Company from 1994 to 2001 and then founded Battleworks Dance Company to pursue his own choreographic ideas. Battleworks made its debut in Düsseldorf, Germany, and subsequently performed at leading dance venues around the world. Robert has been honored as one of the Masters of African American Choreography by the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and received the prestigious Statue Award from the Princess Grace Foundation–USA in 2007.