Masazumi Chaya, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s longtime associate artistic director, will retire January 5, 2020. Chaya has been in his current post since 1991. The company’s current rehearsal director, Matthew Rushing, will succeed him.
Ronni Favors will move up to rehearsal director and dancer Clifton Brown will be an additional assistant to the rehearsal director, alongside Linda Celeste Sims.
A special tribute program for Chaya, who began as a dancer with the company in 1972, will play December 22 during the company's City Center season. Rushing is also a veteran Ailey dancer and will continue the tradition and vision under Artistic Director Robert Battle, who has been at the helm since 2011.
“I’ve had a front-row seat to his love of Alvin Ailey, the man, and that sense that he told him to take care of his ballets and his company,” Battle told The New York Times of Chaya. “It’s in his being, so I can’t imagine he’ll ever be that far away.”