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The Hunt by Robert Battle; set by Elisa Clark

About the Work

The Hunt is a primal ritual with a distinctly urban feel fueled by a thundering percussion soundtrack by Les Tambours du Bronx. Perhaps Battle’s most popular work, it explores the relationship between modern sports and the rites of the gladiators.

 

Battle found inspiration for the work in his background in martial arts, replicating the intensity and combative stances. Costumed in long black skirts with under layers of red, the dancers throw themselves into the movement, reveling in the thrill of the hunt. It’s a work that challenges the physical limits and the emotional stamina of each performer.

Echoing the praise voiced by critics and audiences around the world, The Seattle Times raved that "to see it unfold is to drift between a visceral attraction to the pounding, progressing movements and the awareness of a choreographic vision so inventive it becomes like a seventh onstage presence…"

MUSIC CREDITS

"Jungle Jazz" by L. Blomme, performed by Les Tambours du Bronx.

"Les Boulets Se Rebiffent" by A. Dipace, J.Y. Lefloch, Y. Nisgand, B. Pingon, and J.M. Tramoy, performed by Les Tambours du Bronx.

"Black Bull" by L. Le Mapihan, performed by Les Tambours du Bronx. Music from the recording Silence (1999). Used with permission by Right Bank Music, Inc.

THE 40th ANNIVERSARY SEASON

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 Ella, For Four, In/Side, Love Stories finale, Mass, and Unfold. In addition to expanding the Ailey repertory with works by artists as diverse as Kyle Abraham, Mauro Bigonzetti, Ronald K. Brown, Rennie Harris, and Paul Taylor, Mr. Battle has also instituted the New Directions Choreography Lab to help develop the next generation of choreographers.


About Robert Battle

Mr. Battle’s journey to the top of the modern dance world began in the Liberty City neighborhood of Miami, Florida. He showed artistic talent early and studied dance at a high school arts magnet program before moving on to Miami’s New World School of the Arts, under the direction of Daniel Lewis and Gerri Houlihan, and finally to the dance program at The Juilliard School, under the direction of Benjamin Harkarvy, where he met his mentor, Carolyn Adams. He danced with The Parsons Dance Company from 1994 to 2001, and also set his choreography on that company starting in 1998. Mr. Battle then founded his own Battleworks Dance Company, which made its debut in 2002 in Düsseldorf, Germany, as the U.S. representative to the World Dance Alliance’s Global Assembly. Battleworks subsequently performed extensively at venues including The Joyce Theater, Dance Theater Workshop, American Dance Festival, and Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival.


Mr. Battle was honored as one of the “Masters of African-American Choreography” by the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in 2005, and he received the prestigious Statue Award from the Princess Grace Foundation-USA in 2007. He is a recipient of the 2021 Dance Magazine Award and has honorary doctorates from The University of the Arts, Marymount Manhattan College, and Fordham University. Mr. Battle was named a 2015 Visiting Fellow for The Art of Change, an initiative by the Ford Foundation. He is a sought-after keynote speaker and has addressed a number of high-profile organizations, including the United Nations Leaders Programme and the UNICEF Senior Leadership Development Programme.

About Elisa Clark

is an award winning artist, educator, and administrator from the Washington, DC area, who trained at the Maryland Youth Ballet, before receiving a BFA from The Juilliard School, under Benjamin Harkarvy.  
 
As a dancer, Ms. Clark was a founding member of Robert Battle’s Battleworks Dance Company, where she also served as Company Manager and Mr. Battle’s assistant.  Additionally, she was a featured member of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Lar Lubovitch Dance Company, Peridance Ensemble (now known as Peridance Contemporary Dance Company) and Mark Morris Dance Group, and performed with Nederlands Dans Theater and The Metropolitan Opera, in works by Jirí Kylián, and Crystal Pite, respectively.  Since 2019 she has performed alongside Monica Bill Barnes with Monica Bill Barnes & Company in Happy Hour.  Her extensive performing career has also included appearances in the Off-Broadway production of Rogers & Hammerstein’s Oklahoma!, as an actor in several Samuel Beckett plays, directed by Mark Morris for Northern Ireland’s Happy Days Festival, and in an original film directed and choreographed by Breton Tyner-Bryan.  

 

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As an educator and mentor, she has held residencies and faculty positions at the Ailey School/Fordham University, Alabama School of Fine Arts, American Dance Festival, Bard College, Brown University, George Mason University, Indiana University, Jacob’s Pillow, Marymount Manhattan College, MOVE NYC, University of North Carolina School of the Arts, New World School of the Arts, University of Oklahoma, Princeton University, and the University of the Arts. She is currently on faculty at the Ailey School and at Gibney.  Furthermore, she has taught company classes for Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Ailey II, Ballet Hispanico, the Gibney Company, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, the Met Opera Ballet and Mark Morris Dance Group.  As a repetiteur and rehearsal director, Ms. Clark frequently restages the works of Mr. Battle and Mr. Morris, and serves as Mr. Battle’s artistic assistant for new and existing dances.  Ms. Clark is a Princess Grace Award Winner and a certified Life Coach, often leading seminars, empowering artists to navigate their respective field.

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