Image: The Joan Weill Center for Dance for the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in New York Frances Roberts/Alamy Stock Photo
Updates: The story has been picked up by several sources.
1. Groping, a nude photo, a sex party invite: Former Ailey dancers say director abused power with students – CNN.com
2. Ailey II Drops Director, Citing ‘Inappropriate’ Communications – Nytimes.com
3. Troy Powell, Artistic Director of Ailey II, Has Been Fired for Sexual Misconduct
During May 2020, intermixed the likes and beautiful vanity, an unsightly post about former Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater dancer Troy Powell’s alleged sexual misconduct reared its head; told by whistleblower Charles Namsar through a creative TikTok video on his Instagram account.
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, a New York City dance company, is home to the main company of the same name and its second Ailey 2. Namsar (a freelance dancer/model) brought light to these shocking allegations with his (now deleted) Tiktok video, uploaded on his Instagram page – hoping to stop Powell’s alleged casting couch practice.
“ Life at Alvin Ailey summed up, @alvinailey feel free to tag a friend”, said Namsaram
The video showed two Black people (a man and woman) walking forward (and then backward) to the words “ when you wanna be in Ailey 2. But you guys gotta sleep with Troy Powell.” From the comments, one can attain that Troy Powell favors aspiring male dancers interested in joining the company. The video went viral with many dancers weighing in with comments. “ Life at Alvin Ailey summed up, @alvinailey feel free to tag a friend”, said Namsaram (Charles’s IG account).
We recovered a copy of the video before deletion:
Casting couch is a term used in reference to the supposed practice whereby actors or actresses are awarded parts in films, plays, or other productions in return for granting sexual favors to the casting director.
One supporter Ryan Houston created a video (now deleted) supporting Namsar in speaking out about the alleged sexual misconduct of Troy Powell.
“It really saddens me that, while I’m out here protesting for our lives (for my brothers, my sisters, and my community), and I come back to my phone and I see 45,000 messages about a problem that’s STILL happening in our community…Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, stop…just stop…you have a predator in your home.” – Ryan Houston
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater has celebrated the African-American experience for more than 60 years. Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater is a host institution for Black dance in America.
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater has not posted a statement on these allegations as of June 24, 2020 on their website.