IABD to present 29th Annual Conference

AAADT Artistic Director Robert Battle. Photo by Andrew Eccles.The 29th Annual International Conference and Festival of Blacks in Dance is honoring dance industry trailblazer Robert Battle, the artistic director of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, when it meets in Dallas, Texas on January 25-29, 2017. Robert Battle is the conference luncheon keynote speaker and will participate in a panel discussion on “Transitions and Stability of Today’s Dance Companies.”


Robert Battle became the artistic director of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater (AAADT) in July 2011. He is the third person to head the dance company since its inception in 1958. Battle was a frequent choreographer and artist-in-residence at Ailey since 1999. He also instituted the New Directions Choreography Lab to help develop the next generation of choreographers. Battle founded his own Battleworks Dance Company in 2002. He was honored as one of the “Masters of African-American Choreography” by the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in 2005.


More than 700 participants worldwide are expected to attend the conference. The International Association of Blacks in Dance (IABD) is designed to meet the needs of professional, advanced, and student dancers, as well as dance administrators and instructors. The conference will provide master classes, lecture/demonstrations, panels, workshops, and performances.


There will be a multi-company audition for professionals conducted by the founding and member companies of IABD. Following a major triumph from the 2016 conference, IABD will hold the 2nd Annual Ballet Audition for Women of Color who are seeking contracts and professional training opportunities with premier ballet companies.


Confirmed ballet companies attending the audition are:


– Ballet Austin, Austin, TX

– Ballet Memphis, Memphis, TN

– Charlotte Ballet, Charlotte, NC

– Dance Theatre of Harlem, New York, NY

– The Hartt School, Hartford, CT

– Nashville Ballet, Nashville, TN

– Pacific Northwest Ballet School, Seattle, WA

– Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, Pittsburgh, PA

– San Francisco Ballet, San Francisco, CA

– School of American Ballet, New York, NY


Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings will showcase performances by internationally renowned dance companies (including AAADT) and the founding companies of The IABD – PHILADANCO! (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania), Cleo Parker Robinson Dance (Denver, Colorado), Dallas Black Dance Theatre (Dallas, Texas), Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, (Dayton, Ohio) and Lula Washington Dance Theatre (Los Angeles, California).


Thursday evening is the Emerging Artists and Youth Ensemble Showcase. Friday evening is Established Artists and Members Showcase. Saturday evening is the Founders and International Company Showcase.


Dallas Black Dance Theatre (DBDT) has hosted the conference and festival seven times during its 29-year history and it is a part of DBDT’s 40th Anniversary Season.


The conference headquarters is the Sheraton Dallas Hotel, located at 400 North Olive Street, Dallas, Texas. All public performances will be held at the Majestic Theatre. For more details, visit www.iabdassociation.org.


Photo: AAADT Artistic Director Robert Battle. Photo by Andrew Eccles.