Modern Dance: Movement and Influence
with Robert Battle
Offered in partnership with Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
Thursday, April 30, 2015

Art is always a reaction to, or synthesis of, what has come before. Modern dance, for example, was a rebellion against classical ballet. Robert Battle wants his dancers to understand dance history in their muscles as well as in their minds. In his words, “You have to know how to paint a portrait before you can distort it.” In the first half of this Master Class, Mr. Battle will lead participants in a dance class blending styles and repertoires from the past and present. He will then lead a discussion on the ways “Revelations” and other iconic works by Ailey are situated in a dance continuum stretching back to Martha Graham, Asadata Dofoar, Lester Horton, Jack Cole, and others.

Robert Battle is a dancer, choreographer, and the artistic director of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. After graduating from Juilliard in 1994, he danced with, and choreographed for, the Parsons Dance Company. In 2001, he formed his own Battleworks Dance Company. Prior to his appointment at Ailey, he choreographed work for the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and The Ailey School. In 2005, Mr. Battle was honored as one of the “Masters of African-American Choreography” by the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.