This is originally a NYT article that can be found here
Visit Black Dance Stories at www.blackdancestories.org
The choreographers Robert Battle and Angie Pittman had just met formally for the first time when they were left to talk one on one, in front of a live (virtual) audience, during a recent episode of the conversation series Black Dance Stories.
“I’m going to sit back and watch you two get in trouble,” Charmaine Warren, the show’s warm and energizing host, said as she raised a glass of wine and took a sip. “I’ll see you in a minute. Have fun!” And she slipped offscreen.
As it turned out, they had plenty to talk about. Battle, 48, the artistic director of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, had grown up steeped in gospel music through his family and church. Pittman, 31, an experimental choreographer, also grew up with church as a strong influence; her background as a liturgical praise dancer shapes her work today. By the end of their 10 minutes together, they had broken into song, an impromptu version of the hymn “Blessed Assurance.”