Icons & Innovators: Judith Jamison and Robert Battle
Tuesday, November 15, 2016
Host Susan Fales-Hill, writer and award-winning television producer, returns for the next installment of her her conversation series with groundbreaking thinkers and artists whose work has shaped our cultural landscape — and those who will define its future.
Tonight she sits down for an intimate conversation with two icons and innovators of the dance world: Judith Jamison, artistic director emerita of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, and current artistic director Robert Battle.
Watch the entire conversation:
About Judith Jamison
Judith Jamison joined Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in 1965 and quickly became an international star. Over the next 15 years, Mr. Ailey created some of his most enduring roles for her, most notably the tour-de-force solo Cry. During the 1970s and 80s, she appeared as a guest artist with ballet companies all over the world, starred in the hit Broadway musical Sophisticated Ladies, and formed her own company, The Jamison Project. She returned to Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in 1989 when Mr. Ailey asked her to succeed him as Artistic Director. In the 21 years that followed, she brought the Company to unprecedented heights – including two historic engagements in South Africa and a 50-city global tour to celebrate the Company’s 50th anniversary. Ms. Jamison is the recipient of numerous awards and honors, among them a prime time Emmy Award, an American Choreography Award, the Kennedy Center Honor, a National Medal of Arts, a “Bessie” Award, the Phoenix Award, and the Handel Medallion. She was also listed in “TIME 100: The World’s Most Influential People” and honored by First Lady Michelle Obama at the first White House Dance Series event. In 2015, she became the 50th inductee into the Hall of Fame at the National Museum of Dance.
About Robert Battle
Robert Battle became artistic director of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in July 2011 after being personally selected by Judith Jamison, making him only the third person to head the Company since it was founded in 1958. Mr. Battle has a long-standing association with the Ailey organization.
A frequent choreographer and artist-in-residence at Ailey since 1999, he has set many of his works on Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and Ailey II, and at The Ailey School. The Company’s current repertory includes his ballets No Longer Silent, Awakening, and The Hunt. In addition to expanding the Ailey repertory with works by artists as diverse as Kyle Abraham, Aszure Barton, Ronald K. Brown, Rennie Harris, Matthew Rushing, Hofesh Shechter, Paul Taylor, and Christopher Wheeldon, Mr. Battle has also instituted the New Directions Choreography Lab to help develop the next generation of choreographers.