Interview with Artistic Director Robert Battle


THE LANGUAGE OF EXPRESSION Robert Battle Photo by Andrew Eccles

An Interview with Artistic Director Robert Battle                                                       
By Mihaela Vieru


What is relevant in dance today, and how does this differ from former times?

Of course, there is so much that has changed.  It has felt great to become Artistic Director of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.  It is not only one of the most revered dance companies and most important cultural institutions in our country, but I believe represents the great ideals of the American dream. To think of how it started with one black man from the South, during an oppressive time, who had a vision of how he wanted to express his experiences in this country.  And then that experience became a universal expression and the Company is now over 55 years old, recognized by U.S. Congress as a vital American “Cultural Ambassador to the World,” and has performed for more than 23 million people.  That to me is a great feat for any cultural institution!  So, it’s an awesome feeling to know that I get to carry that into the future.


Robert Battle, Masazumi Chaya. Photo by Andrew Eccles



What is relevant in dance today, and how does this differ from former times?

My artistic vision really is about past, present and future. Reaching back to those seminal works of art as they pertain to dance, and having this be the guide to understanding how we arrived at where we are today and an indicator of where we can go in the future.  The notion that anything is possible and that we’re only limited by our own imagination and nothing more.  So I think you will see the gamut of different choreographers, different ways of expressing this thing called dance, which really is a celebration of life.


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