Choreographer Kyle Abraham, founder of the acclaimed dance company A.I.M, recently debuted his fourth New York City Ballet commission with costumes created by London-based designer Giles Deacon. Abraham’s first work for NYCB, The Runway—his first-ever piece for a ballet company—also featured costumes by Deacon, as well as music by Nico Muhly, James Blake, and Jay-Z.
Abraham’s choreography is perhaps best defined by its singular, genre-defying mélange of modern, jazz, contemporary, hip-hop, and yes, ballet dance styles and techniques.
A.I.M’s recent, evening-length works, “Requiem: Fire in the Air of the Earth and An Untitled Love” was a testament to Abraham’s mission: “create a body of dance-based work that is galvanized by Black culture and history.” What makes this statement even more powerful is that Abraham believes in community offering equity to members of his company.
Abraham, a 2013 MacArthur Fellow, has also created pieces for Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Paul Taylor American Modern Dance, and Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, as well as two works for London’s Royal Ballet, and solos for American Ballet Theatre Principal Dancers Misty Copeland and Calvin Royal III. —T.T.