Born in Fukuoka, Japan, Masazumi Chaya began his classical ballet training here, moving in 1970 to New York where he studied modern dance and performed with the Richard Englund Repertory Company. Mr. Chaya joined Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in 1972 and performed with the Company for 15 years. In 1988, he became the Company's Rehearsal Director after serving as Assistant Rehearsal Director for two years. A master teacher, both on tour with the Company and in his native Japan, he served as choreographic assistant to Alvin Ailey and John Butler. In 1991, Mr. Chaya was named Associate Artistic Director of the Company and in 2002 coordinated the Company’s appearance at the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree-lighting ceremony, broadcast on NBC.
Mr. Chaya has staged numerous ballets including Alvin Ailey's Flowers for the State Ballet of Missouri (1990) and The River for the Royal Swedish Ballet (1993), Ballet Florida (1995), National Ballet of Prague (1995), Pennsylvania Ballet (1996) and Colorado Ballet (1998). He has also restaged, among other works, The Mooche, The Stack-Up, Episodes, Bad Blood, Hidden Rites, Urban Folk Dance and Witness for the Company. In 2003, he restaged The River for North Carolina Dance Theatre and for Julio Bocca’s Ballet Argentina. Most recently, Mr. Chaya restaged Blues Suite and Judith Jamison’s Hymn for the Company.