Dance Theatre of Harlem is one of New York’s legendary ballet companies. It’s a small company with a big impact.
ONLINE Through August 2, 2020
PREMIERE Sat, July 25 at 8pm
TALKS & WORKSHOPS
Wed-Sat, July 22-25, 2020
DTH SOCIAL CHANNELS
Keep our Culture Alive!
The first thing we are losing to COVID-19 is loved ones. Our next loss will be cultural. It’s important to keep our culture alive because our culture keeps us alive.
Dance Theatre of Harlem is a Ballet Company that Keeps Rising
The first Black classical ballet company was co-founded by Arthur Mitchell and Karel Shook. Mitchell was inspired to found Dance Theatre of Harlem by the death of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Mitchell danced through barriers and wanted to give other kids from his neighborhood the same opportunities.
Mitchell was New York City Ballet’s first African-American dancer (1956-1968). He was the world’s first Black international ballet star. Mitchell is remembered for his dancing in Balanchine’s “Agon” and as Puck in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”
Shook danced with Ballet Russe de Monte-Carlo, on Broadway, and with New York City Ballet. Mitchell, Alvin Ailey, Carmen de Lavallade and Geoffrey Holder were all Shook students.
These are important connections to George Balanchine, one of the founding fathers of ballet in the United States. Not everybody is able to dance Balanchine well, but Dance Theatre of Harlem can. It’s in the direct line.
Dance Theatre of Harlem debuted in 1971 at the Guggenheim Museum. Both Balanchine and Jerome Robbins helped create repertoire. Robbins loved African-American dance traditions. You can see it in his choreography, especially on Broadway.
A Touring Company and Ballet School
Dance Theatre of Harlem is a touring company and a ballet school. It also does important arts education and community outreach.
Ballet teaches more than dance. It teaches respect, discipline, health and poise. Whether you become a professional dancer or not, these skills will serve you for your entire life.
A Home for Caribbean Creole Culture
Caribbean Creole culture of Haiti, Trinidad and New Orleans is not well understood in the United States, even though it is one of the taproots of a lot of African-American culture and Latin culture.
Creole in the Caribbean is mostly African-French. Ballet is an Italian court dance that was developed in France. Very few companies can tell Creole stories the way Dance Theatre of Harlem can.
One of the company’s most popular ballets is Geoffrey Holder’s “Dougla.” It’s a wedding ballet and costume pageant set in Trinidad’s African-South Asian community. That’s another golden thread in the rich quilt of diversity that is African-American culture today.
Previously at Dance Theatre of Harlem
Sunday, November 10, 2019
HARLEM, NYC ~ The DTH School, Complexions Contemporary Ballet, and Evidence bring ballet to the community at the Dance Theatre of Harlem studios
Wed-Sat, Apr 10, 12, 13, 2019
MIDTOWN, NYC ~ New York City’s African-American classical ballet company honors founder Arthur Mitchell (1934-2018) at New York City Center
Wed-Sat, April 4, 6, 7, 2018
MIDTOWN, NYC ~ Amazing African-American, Brazilian & Puerto Rican dancers at New York City Center