Robert Battle became Artistic Director of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in July 2011, making him only the third person to head the Company since it was founded in 1958. Battle has a long-standing association with the Ailey organization, however, as a frequent choreographer and artist-in-residence at Ailey since 1999. As a result, he has set many of his works on Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and Ailey II, and at The Ailey School. The Company's current repertory includes some of his ballets among works by other artists, including Paul Taylor, Rennie Harris, Jirí Kylián, Garth Fagan, and Kyle Abraham. Battle has also instituted a New Directors Choreography Lab to help develop the next generation of choreographers. Earlier in his career, Battle danced with the Parsons Dance Company, eventually becoming a choreographer with them as well. He then founded his own Battleworks Dance Company, which made its premiere in 2002 in Düsseldorf, Germany as the U.S. representative to the World Dance Alliance's Global Assembly. Battleworks subsequently performed extensively at venues including The Joyce Theater, Dance Theater Workshop, American Dance Festival, and Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival.