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Masazumi Chaya To Retire As Associate Artistic Director

Posted July 8, 2019

After nearly five decades with Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, our beloved Masazumi Chaya will retire as Associate Artistic Director at the conclusion of the New York City Center season on January 5, 2020.

Having joined the Company in 1972 as a dancer, Mr. Chaya performed under Mr. Ailey’s direction for 15 years. When he stopped performing in 1986, he was tapped by Mr. Ailey to serve as Assistant to the Rehearsal Director and he became Rehearsal Director in 1988. After Judith Jamison became Artistic Director, she appointed Mr. Chaya as Associate Artistic Director, the post in which he has provided invaluable creative assistance in all areas of the Company’s operations since 1991.

After leaving his current position, Mr. Chaya will continue to be a caretaker of the Ailey legacy in a number of ways, including organizing the Company’s archive of recorded performances and creating official resource guides for Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater repertory. He will also lead a new initiative called the Alvin Ailey Choreographic Legacy Project that will bring ballets by Alvin Ailey into the repertoires of other dance companies around the world.

“It is a great joy to share the genius of Alvin Ailey’s choreography with other companies so that it reaches and inspires even more people around the world,” Mr. Chaya said. “I’m excited to begin a new role that will help keep his flame burning brightly, after celebrating my final New York City Center season as Associate Artistic Director with Ailey’s wonderful dancers and audiences.”

As part of the 2019 City Center season of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Mr. Chaya will be honored with a special evening performance on December 22, 2019.

"Alvin Ailey’s Associate Artistic Director to Step Down"The New York Times, July 8, 2019

Official Press Release: Masazumi Chaya, Associate Artistic Director And Beloved Mainstay Of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, To Retire At The End Of Upcoming New York City Center Season