'Alvin Ailey' Chooses New Artistic Director

Robert Battle announced as Judith Jamison's successor to lead dance troupe

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Judith Jamison has named her successor to lead the famed Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in New York.

Judith Jamison today announced that her mantle as Artistic Director of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater will pass to Robert Battle, a fast-rising choreographer who has created ballets for the Ailey company and Ailey II since 1999 and has served as an artist-in-residence with The Ailey School. Mr. Battle, 37, will be the third person to head the company since its founding by Alvin Ailey in 1958. He will serve side-by-side with Ms. Jamison as Artistic Director Designate from now until July 1, 2011, when she takes Emerita status and he assumes his full responsibilities.

Judith Jamison stated, "We are enormously fortunate in being able to secure the leadership of Robert Battle. Combining an intimate knowledge of the Ailey company with an independent perspective, he is without question the creative force of the future."....

Accepting his appointment as Artistic Director Designate, Robert Battle stated, "I don't know whether to call this the proudest moment of my life or the most humbling. With the help of Judith Jamison and the great, great dancers in this company, I hope to be worthy of this tremendous responsibi