Kyle Abraham

Founder and Artistic Director of A.I.M by Kyle Abraham

Kyle Abraham for NYC Dance Project (2014) by Photo by NYC Dance Project Ken Browar and Deborah OryA.I.M

About Kyle Abraham

In 2011, OUT Magazine labeled Abraham as the “best and brightest creative talent to emerge in New York City in the age of Obama”.

Kyle Abraham in INDY by Steven Schreiber (2018) by Photo by Steven Schreiber.A.I.M

2018 Princess Grace Statue Award Recipient, 2017-18 Joyce Creative Residency Artist, 2016 Doris Duke Award Recipient and 2015 City Center Choreographer in Residence, Kyle Abraham is a 2013 MacArthur Fellow who began his dance training at the Civic Light Opera Academy and the Creative and Performing Arts High School in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He continued his dance studies in New York, receiving a BFA from SUNY Purchase, an MFA from NYU Tisch School of the Arts, and an honorary Doctorate in Fine Arts from Washington Jefferson College. He has served as a visiting professor in residence at UCLA’s World Arts Cultures in Dance program from 2016 to 2021. And in 2021, he was named the Claude and Alfred Mann Endowed Professorship in Dance at The University of Southern California Glorya Kaufman School of Dance. Abraham currently sits on the advisory board for Dance Magazine and the artist advisory board for Hubbard Street Dance Chicago. In 2020, he was selected to be Dance Magazine’s first-ever Guest Editor.

Kyle Abraham by Tatiana Wills (2018) by Photo by Tatiana WillsA.I.M

Rebecca Bengal of Vogue wrote, “What Abraham brings to Ailey is an avant-garde aesthetic, an original and politically minded downtown sensibility that doesn’t distinguish between genres but freely draws on a vocabulary that is as much Merce and Martha as it is Eadweard Muybridge and Michael Jackson.” 

Kyle Abraham by Tatiana WellsA.I.M

Abraham received a prestigious Bessie Award for Outstanding Performance in Dance for his work in The Radio Show, and a Princess Grace Award for Choreography in 2010. The previous year, he was selected as one of Dance Magazine’s “25 To Watch” for 2009, and received a Jerome Travel and Study Grant in 2008. Additionally, Abraham was named the 2012 Jacob’s Pillow Dance Award recipient and 2012 USA Ford Fellow, before serving as a choreographic contributor for Beyonce’s 2013 British Vogue cover shoot.

Live! The Realest MC by N/AA.I.M

His choreography has been presented throughout the United States and abroad; at Fall for Dance Festival at New York City Center, Lincoln Center, Brooklyn Academy of Music, The Joyce Theater, The Los Angeles Music Center, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, Théâtre de la Ville, Sadler’s Wells, Maison de la Danse, Tanz Im August, On The Boards, Danspace Project, Dance Theater Workshop, Bates Dance Festival, Harlem Stage, Montreal, Ottawa, Italy, Germany, Sweden, France, Jordan, Ecuador, Dublin’s Project Arts Center, The Okinawa Prefectural Museum & Art Museum located in Okinawa Japan, The Andy Warhol Museum, The Byham and The Kelly-Strayhorn Theater in his hometown of Pittsburgh, PA.

A.I.M: Kyle Abraham (2018) by Photo by Tatiana WillsA.I.M

In addition to performing and developing new works for his company A.I.M by Kyle Abraham, Abraham has been commissioned by a variety of dance companies. Most recently, Abraham received two international commissions from the Royal Ballet. Abraham’s work, Optional Family, a divertissement premiered in May 2021 as part of their 21st Century Choreographers program. He was also commissioned to be the first Black choreographer to create a one-act ballet for the Royal Ballet, set to premiere in spring 2022.

Our Indigo: If We Were a Love Son by Christopher DugganA.I.M

Selected Works for A.I.M by Kyle Abraham

Since A.I.M’s founding in 2006, Artistic Director Kyle Abraham has made more than 20 original works for and with the company.

The Radio Show by Steven Schreiber (2010) by Photo by Steven SchreiberA.I.M

The Radio Show (2010)

The Radio Show creates an abstract narrative around the loss of communication, investigating the effects of the abrupt discontinuation of a radio station on a community and the lingering effects of Alzheimer's and aphasia on a family. 

Live! The Realest MC by Julien Benhamou (2018) by Photo by Julien BenhamouA.I.M

Live! The Realest MC (2011)

Live! The Realest MC, commissioned by The Kitchen, is a reenactment of Walt Disney's Pinocchio in an urban environment. It consists of a journey to find "realness" and includes hip hop karaoke. 

Matthew Baker and Penda N'diaye in The Quiet Dance by Ellen Crane Photography (2010) by Photo by Ellen Crane PhotographyA.I.M

The Quiet Dance (2011)

The Quiet Dance (2011) is a quintet set to Bill Evans’ sentimental rendition of the Bernstein classic Some Other Time.

Pavement photo by Carrie Schneider (2012) by Photo by Carrie SchneiderA.I.M

Pavement (2012)

Set in Pittsburgh’s historically black neighborhoods, Pavement aims to create a strong emotional chronology of a culture conflicted with a history plagued by discrimination, genocide, and a constant quest for a lottery ticket weighted in freedom.

Jeremy Jae Neal and Penda N'diaye in Absent Matter by Sharen Bradford (2015) by Photo by Sharen BradfordA.I.M

Absent Matter (2015)

Absent Matter is a duet exploring hip-hop’s fascination with posthumous acclaim. At its heart, the work embraces Oakland-based activist Alicia Garza’s now infamous call to action, #BlackLivesMatter, and the rage and grief associated with its aspirations of change.

Drive by Sharen Bradford.A.I.M

Drive (2017)

Drive, a high energy, propulsive work set to thumping club beats, is an ensemble work for eight dancers that was commissioned for New York City Center’s 2017 Fall For Dance Festival.

Meditation: A Silent Prayer by Steven Schreiber (2018) by Photo by Steven SchreiberA.I.M

Meditation: A Silent Prayer (2018)

Meditation: A Silent Prayer is an ensemble work featuring voice-over recording by Carrie Mae Weems and visual artwork by Titus Kaphar, which premiered at The Joyce Theater in 2018.

Show Pony by Whitney BrowneA.I.M

Show Pony (2018)

Show Pony is an energetic solo choreographed by Kyle Abraham, set to musician Jlin’s song “Hatshepsut” and performed by soloists Tamisha Guy and Marcella Lewis (Princess Grace Award Recipients 2016 and 2018, respectively) and Donovan Reed.

Studies on Farewell by Steven SchreiberA.I.M

Studies on Farewell (2019)

Studies on a Farewell is a tender work featuring nine dancers set to a classical score by Nico Muhly, Sebastian Bartmann, and Ludwig van Beethoven.

Our Indigo: If We Were a Love Son by Christopher DugganA.I.M

Our Indigo: If We Were A Love Song (2021)

Our Indigo: If We Were a Love Song, a series of intimate vignettes set to music by Nina Simone, foregrounding themes of love, joy, and Black experience.

An Untitled Love by Christopher DugganA.I.M

An Untitled Love (2021)

An Untitled Love is an evening-length work comprised of the catalogue of Grammy Award-winning R&B legend D’Angelo. This creative exaltation serves as a thumping mixtape celebrating culture, family, and community. 

Requiem: Fire in the Air of the Earth by Peter HönnemannA.I.M

Requiem: Fire in the Air of the Earth (2021)

Kyle Abraham and pioneering producer, composer, and EDM artist Jlin have come together to create Requiem: Fire in the Air of the Earth. It explores death, folklore, and reincarnation through a reimagining of Mozart’s Requiem in D minor. 

National Ballet Cuba by Laura DiffenderferA.I.M

Commissioned Work

Kyle Abraham is one of the most sought after choreographers of his generation.

He has created works for Alvin Ailey, New York City Ballet, Paul Taylor American Modern Dance, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Opera Ballet Vlaanderen, National Ballet of Cuba, and Royal Ballet

Behind Alvin Ailey Choreographer Kyle Abraham's 'Untitled America' Show | State of the Art | TIME (2017-04-18) by Video by TIME MagazineA.I.M

Untitled America (2016)

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater

The Runaway (2018)

New York City Ballet

The Bystander (2019)

Hubbard Street Dance Chicago

Only The Lonely (2019)

Paul Taylor American Modern Dance

And let the air no more (2020)

Opera Ballet Vlaanderen

Optional Family, a divertissement (2021)

Royal Ballet 

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