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 (he/him) 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.
Rebecca Bengal of Vogue wrote, “What Abraham brings … 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.”
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. His most recent work, The Weathering premiered in March of 2022 to rave reviews.
Additionally, Abraham premiered When We Fell in 2021, his third creation for New York City Ballet, which The New York Times reviewed as “among the most beautiful dance films of the pandemic.” Previously, Abraham collaborated with NYCB Principal Dancer Taylor Stanley on Ces noms que nous portons, a Lincoln Center and NYCB commissioned solo; choreographed Unto The End, We Meet, commissioned by the National Ballet of Cuba, and choreographed the music video for Sufjan Stevens’ Sugar. He premiered to be seen, a new solo for American Ballet Theatre Principal Dancer Calvin Royal III, for the 2020 virtual Fall For Dance Festival. The New York Times raved on “how skilled he has become at mingling the ballet vernacular with other forms, from hip-hop to West African movement” and his unique talent for “finding the person within the dancer and the bodies within a body.”
In fall 2019, he choreographed Ash, a solo work for ABT Principal Dancer Misty Copeland; Only The Lonely, a newly commissioned work for Paul Taylor American Modern Dance; and The Bystander, a new commission for Hubbard Street Dance Chicago to rave reviews. Abraham premiered the Bessie-nominated The Runaway for NYCB’s 2018 Fall Fashion Gala, which was recognized as one of the “Best Dance of 2018” by The New York Times. In 2016, Abraham premiered Untitled America, a 3-part commissioned work for the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater; toured The Serpent and The Smoke, a pas de deux for himself and acclaimed Bessie Award-winning and former New York City Ballet Principal Dancer Wendy Whelan as part of Restless Creature; and choreographed for the feature-length film, The Book of Henry, for acclaimed director Colin Trevorrow.
In 2012, Abraham served as a choreographic contributor for Beyonce’s 2013 British Vogue cover shoot, named the 2012 Jacob’s Pillow Dance Award recipient, 2012 USA Ford Fellow, and the New York Live Arts Resident Commissioned Artist for 2012–2014. Later that year, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater premiered Abraham’s Another Night at New York City Center. Abraham has also 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.
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.
In 2011, OUT Magazine labeled Abraham as the “best and brightest creative talent to emerge in New York City in the age of Obama”.