Saturday, April 27, 2013

Guest Blogger: Robert Battle of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater

“All that is important is this one moment in movement. 
Make the moment important, vital and worth living. 
Do not let it slip away unnoticed and unused.” 
– Martha Graham

April 26 – May 5 
Join us during National Dance Week for a special posting in Center Scene by a noted artistic director, choreographer or expert. 
AAADT's Linda Celese Sims, Alicia Graf Mack and Glenn Allen Sims
in Alvin Ailey's Revelations © Andrew Eccles

Artistic Director Robert Battle
© Andrew Eccles
By Robert Battle
Artistic Director, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater

It’s important to keep the past of the Ailey company alive, because the past is the present. I don’t see any distance between then and now. When I think about a great work of art, it endures, and it is timeless. If it was true then, then it is true now, and it speaks to the audience as it speaks to me. The past is not a burden; it’s the reason why we are here in the first place, so I embrace this rich history of this marvelous company. How do I achieve that? By always challenging and engaging the audience, challenging and engaging the dancers, and finding work that falls in line with that mission. 

AAADT's Antonio Douthit and Alicia Graf Mack
in Paul Taylor's Arden Court 
© Andrew Eccles
Incorporating the arts in education is also essential. Growing up in Miami, I had singing classes, a music teacher, and I learned to write music in school. We know the arts make a difference in young peoples’ lives. The fact that the Ailey programs are able to make a positive impact on the community is very important to me and the Company. We step off the stage and into the communities we serve. Mr. Ailey said he believed that “dance came from the people and should always be delivered back to the people.” Judith Jamison carried that torch, and now I carry it. I try to do things that come from my own instinct and heart, and that’s how I achieve it.

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