Dance Theatre of Harlem 50th at New York City Center

Dance Theatre of Harlem presents its 50th Anniversary Season at New York City Center in Midtown, Manhattan, April 10, 12 & 13, 2019. From $35

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Arthur Mitchell

The Season honors co-founder Arthur Mitchell who passed on last September.

Mitchell was the first Black New York City Ballet dancer. He studied and performed under George Balanchine, the legendary Russian who established ballet in the United States.

When Mitchell founded Dance Theatre of Harlem, Balanchine gave Mitchell access to all of his ballets. That was a tremendous mark of confidence in Mitchell.

Dance Theatre of Harlem

Dance Theatre of Harlem was founded in 1969 by Arthur Mitchell and Karel Shook. It’s the first Black classical ballet company.

The Company hit a rough spot financially in the mid-2000s, but since 2012 under the leadership of former prima ballerina Virginia Johnson, is back on its feet and growing stronger than ever.

The Company’s dancers with a Latin heritage include:

  • Yinet Fernandez of Mariano’ La Habana, Cuba
  • Anthony Santos of New York City
  • Dylan Santos of São Paulo, Brazil
  • Crystal Serrano of Denver, Colorado
  • Ingrid Silva of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Dance Theatre of Harlem is a robust dance organization. It has a touring company, a dance school, and does a lot of community engagement. The Company does community outreach under the banner of “Dancing Through Barriers.” That’s exactly what we do.

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Dance Theatre of Harlem 50th

The Season commences Wednesday, April 10 with a 50th Anniversary Gala Celebration honoring Arthur Mitchell. The performance will include excerpts from Creole Giselle, one of the Company’s signature works. The Gala includes dinner and dancing at the Ziegfeld Ballroom.

Friday and Saturday, April 12 & 13, the Company is performing Mitchell’s Tones II, resident choreographer Robert Garland’s new Nyman String Quartet #2, Colombian-Belgian choreographer Annabelle Lopez Ochoa’s Balamouk and Geoffrey Holder’s Dougla.

Mitchell created Tones II in 1970, but re-imagined it for the 50th anniversary before he passed on. Lopez Ochoa is the 2019 winner of the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Award.

Dougla is based a West Indies love story of a Black and Indian couple. When slavery ended, Chinese and Indians (from India) came to the Caribbean to work. That’s whyJamaica and Trinidad have Indian flavors in their cooking.

Dougla is a ballet for 25 dancers, a major company. Holder’s widow, Creole dance legend Carmen de Lavallade and his son Leo Holder, have been coaching the Dance Theatre of Harlem performers. The piece hasn’t been performed by the full Company since 2004 when it went into hiatus. The restaging of Dougla marks a Dance Theatre of Harlem Renaissance.

Dance Theatre of Harlem 50th Tickets

Wednesday, April 10 at 7pm
50th Anniversary Celebration
Performance from $45
Gala from $1,500

Friday, April 12 at 8pm
Classic Dance Theatre of Harlem
From $45

Saturday, April 13 at 2pm
Family Matinee
From $35

Saturday, April 13 at 8pm
Classic Dance Theatre of Harlem
From $35

Get tickets at

New York City Center

131 West 55th St, New York, NY 10019
(between Sixth and Seventh Ave)
Midtown, Manhattan

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