A Message from Ailey Artistic Director Robert Battle
Posted June 3, 2020
"Not all the works are political, but they certainly reflect my feelings about what goes on in this country. I mean I can't get over that, I'm a black man living in this." —Alvin Ailey
As a black man living in this and as the Artistic Director of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater I come to you and say, our destiny is calling—one without hate, oppression, and violence—and it is our turn to answer.
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater was born out of the Civil Rights Movement, a struggle that called for black people to be seen as human and asked those who believed in equal rights for all to use what they had to push the cause forward, peacefully. Mr. Ailey chose dance as his weapon of protest, creating a legacy of artistic activism. And it is a weapon we have continued to use over the last 62 years. Our arsenal has grown with the addition of Ailey II, The Ailey School, Ailey Extension and Ailey Arts in Education and Community programs. We mobilize and galvanize every time we step into a school or perform anywhere in the United States or around the world. We have radically changed the environments in which we operate, and yet we are clear there is more to do.
Mr. Ailey once said, "one of the worst things about racism is what it does to young people." Yet we see that it is these young people who are leading the force for change. We stand with those who are on the front lines and those who put themselves at risk combatting hate and injustice. In unison with our community, we rise to fight racism and demand equal justice. For our entire Ailey family, we are here to provide you the space, the hope, the example, the balm, the strength, and the revelations you need through this struggle as we move forward together in answering the call.
Watch Ailey's Khalia Campbell in an excerpt of Darrell Grand Moultrie's Ounce of Faith.