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Weekend Express with Lynn Smith

Fast-paced look at the day's essential news and buzz-worthy stories

Alvin Ailey dancers take center stage

  • Robert Battle is the artistic director for Alvin Ailey Dance Theater
  • The company has performed in 71 countries since 1958

One of the most celebrated modern dance troupes-- the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater is taking its show on the road with a five month, 21 city tour. Artistic director Robert Battle sat down with Natasha to talk about the North American tour and the Ailey motto-- "expect the unexpected."

Battle says he tries to add his own flavor as artistic director by remembering the infamous 'Revelations' dance he saw as a young child. Battle is only the third person to head the company. He was personally selected in 2011 by former artistic director Judith Jamison.

The dance troupe was founded in 1958 by Alvin Ailey and a group of African-American dancers. By its estimation, the modern dance troupe has performed for an impressive 23 million people in 48 states and 71 countries since its humble beginnings. To help get into the groove, Battle brought along dancer Yannick Lebrun to show off the company's unique style in the dance "Takademe."

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