Robert Battle’s The Hunt is a primal ritual with a distinctly urban feel fueled by a thundering percussion soundtrack by Les Tambours du Bronx. Perhaps Battle’s most popular work, it explores the relationship between modern sports and the rites of the gladiators.
Battle found inspiration for the work in his background in martial arts, replicating the intensity and combative stances. Costumed in long black skirts with under layers of red, six men throw themselves into the movement, reveling in the thrill of the hunt.
It’s a work that challenges the physical limits and the emotional stamina of even the famously indomitable Ailey men. Said rehearsal director and guest artist Matthew Rushing, “at times Robert gave us images of being in a rave club, letting loose and going wild and not caring about technique or form — just throwing out energy. A lot of times it feels like you’re in a fight, or you’re fighting to get through. ”