1/15/18 O&A NYC DANCE: Opening Reception for Arthur Mitchell: Harlem’s Ballet Trailblazer

Opening Reception for Arthur Mitchell: Harlem’s Ballet Trailblazer took place on the 8th floor of  Columbia University’s Manhattanville Campus Lenfest Center for the Arts. The gathering celebrated the first major exhibition devoted to the life and accomplishments of Arthur Mitchell, New York City Ballet’s first African- American principal dancer, and founder/artistic director of the Dance Theatre of Harlem. The evening brought together former and present Dance Theatre of Harlem company members and staff, colleagues, old friends, balletomanes; and dance and cultural historians. In an unexpected highlight Mitchell partnered former DTH dancer Paunika Jones reinforcing that this octogenarian teacher, choreographer, dance and social icon still leads by example.

 

 

 

Mitchell donated his personal archive to Columbia University’s Rare Book & Manuscript Library in 2014. The Arthur Mitchell Collection on display in the 6th floor Wallach Art Gallery was curated by Lynn Garafola, Professor Emerita of Dance, Barnard College, and includes photographs, drawings, posters, memorabilia, and rare video footage. The collection not only provides an important insight into the groundbreaking career of Mitchell, but also illustrates how the arts can create social change. “I believe that dance, and the arts more broadly, can be used as a catalyst for social change—this is why I started the Dance Theatre of Harlem”, states Mitchell.

Arthur Mitchell: Harlem’s Ballet Trailblazer runs from January 13 through March 11, 2018. In addition to the exhibition special events have been planned including:

An Afternoon with Arthur Mitchell
Saturday, January 20, 2018 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM
This special afternoon includes a rare screening of the dance documentary, Rhythmetron with a live appearance by Arthur Mitchell.

Wallach Gallery Talks
Saturday January 27, 2018 1:00 – 1:30PM
Learn more about key works in the Arthur Mitchell archive from different perspectives. All talks begin at 1 pm and meet in the Wallach Art Gallery lobby on the 6th floor. Lynn Garafola, exhibition curator and Professor Emerita of Dance, Barnard College, Columbia University.

Wallach Family Afternoon
Saturday February 10, 2018 1:00 – 3:00PM
An afternoon of storytelling, art-making and movement for families to enjoy together.

For more information about the Wallach Art Gallery and the Arthur Mitchell: Harlem’s Ballet Trailblazer exhibition and related events including: An Afternoon with Arthur Mitchell (January 20, 2018, 1pm) and Panel Discussion with former dancers from the Dance Theatre of Harlem (February 24, 2018, 1pm) visit wallach.columbia.edu. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

January 13– March 11, 2018

 

 

 

The Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Columbia University.

 

 

 

 

The collection provides insight into the career and life mission of Mitchell, as a dancer, teacher, choreographer and social activist.

 

The first major exhibition devoted to Arthur Mitchell, this project celebrates the life and accomplishments of the New York City Ballet’s first African American star, and the founder and longtime director of the Dance Theater of Harlem. This event will take place on Friday, January 12, from 6-8 pm in the spacious new Wallach Art Gallery at the Lenfest Center for the Arts.

 

1/12/18 O&A NYC SHALL WE DANCE FRIDAY EXTRA: Yuri Soloviev and Natalia Makarova- Les Sylphides pas de deux (1964)


Natalia Makarova and Yuri Soloviev  perform Les Sylphides pas de deux from the 1964 Russian documentary The History of Russian Ballet. Continue reading

1/8/17 O&A NYC DANCE: Arthur Mitchell And Anna Kisselgoff Discuss Agon And More

Arthur Mitchell discusses Agon with New York Times dance critic Anna Kisselgoff. Also bonus clip of Diane Adams and Arthur Mitchell in Agon pas de deux.  Continue reading

1/7/18 O&A NYC DANCE: Agon- New York City Ballet (1960)

Agon– the complete ballet with the original cast featuring Diana Adams, Todd Bolender, Jillana,  Arthur Mitchell, Richard Rapp, Francia Russell, Roy Tobias, and Violette Verdy.  Continue reading

1/6/18 O&A NYC DANCE: Arthur Mitchell: Harlem’s Ballet Trailblazer- A Retrospect On A Life Devoted To Dance

By Walter Rutledge

Arthur Mitchell: Harlem’s Ballet Trailblazer will open at Columbia’s Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Art Gallery, 615 W 129th St, on Saturday January 13, 2018. The exhibit is presented in collaboration with Columbia’s Rare Book & Manuscript Library, where Mitchell donated his archive in 2015. This is the first major exhibition devoted to celebrating the life and accomplishments of   New York City Ballet’s first African American principal dancer and the co-founder and longtime director of the Dance Theatre of Harlem. Curated by Lynn Garafola, Professor Emerita of Dance, Barnard College the collection will be on view through March 11, 2018

“This exhibition pays homage both to Mitchell’s creative magic and to his visionary achievements, revealing to those who never saw him dance his charismatic stage presence and the full scope of his career as an artist,” said Garafola. “At the same time, it places the Dance Theatre of Harlem, which he co-founded and directed for more than 40 years, at the crossroads of political, artistic and racial change in the United States and beyond.”

Arthur Mitchell: Harlem’s Ballet Trailblazer will feature objects from Mitchell’s archive, including the telegram from Lincoln Kirstein to Mitchell inviting him to join the New York City Ballet, an Al Hirschfeld drawing of Suzanne Farrell and Mitchell in Balanchine’s Slaughter on Tenth Avenue, Mitchell’s 1952 Four Saints in Three Acts souvenir program and posters from the 1961 Spoleto Festival, where Mitchell both choreographed and performed.                                                                  

Other highlights are photographs of Mitchell and fellow dancers by Anthony Crickmay, Peter Basch, Martha Swope and Antony Armstrong-Jones (Lord Snowdon), and an eight-foot-long Dance Theatre of Harlem puzzle, created by Frank Bara in 1991, that chronicles the first two decades of the company’s history with illustrative detail of its artists, heroes and friends. Dancer Charmaine Hunter’s costume and headpiece designed by Geoffrey Holder for Firebird (1982), one of Dance Theatre of Harlem’s signature works, will be on view, as well as performance footage from a number of sources including the New York Public Library’s Jerome Robbins Dance Division.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

Dance Pioneer Arthur Mitchell

“I am a political activist through dance,” said Mitchell, who received a Doctorate of Humane Letters from Columbia in May of 2016. “I believe that dance, and the arts more broadly, can be used as a catalyst for social change—this is why I started the Dance Theatre of Harlem. With my archive at Columbia, artifacts of American dance history and African American history are accessible to young scholars, academics and the general public. The exhibition at the Wallach Gallery will further this push for change.”

The Wallach Art Gallery advances Columbia’s historical, critical and creative engagement with the visual arts. Serving as both a laboratory and a forum, the Wallach offers opportunities for curatorial practice and discourse, while bridging the diverse approaches to the arts at the University with a welcome broader public. Gallery hours are Wednesday through Friday, noon until 8pm and Saturday and Sunday, noon until 6 pm. The Wallach Art Gallery is free and open to the public.

“Our grand re-opening year at the Lenfest Center for the Arts is the perfect opportunity to celebrate Mitchell’s artistic genius, through the holdings of Columbia’s Rare Book & Manuscript Library. The Wallach is proud to collaborate on this presentation, offering a glimpse of these treasures to the public, while also appealing to those interested in the history of ballet, the history of Harlem and, more broadly, modern American race relations,” said Deborah Cullen, Director and Chief Curator of the Wallach Art Gallery.

For more information about the Wallach Art Gallery and the Arthur Mitchell: Harlem’s Ballet Trailblazer exhibition and related events including: An Afternoon with Arthur Mitchell (January 20, 2018, 1pm) and Panel Discussion with former dancers from the Dance Theatre of Harlem (February 24, 2018, 1pm) visit wallach.columbia.edu. 

To watch the complete Agon featuring the original cast click below

http://outandaboutnycmag.com/1-7-18-oa-nyc-dance-agon-new-york-city-ballet-1960/

 

 

1/5/18 O&A NYC SHALL WE DANCE FRIDAY: Manon- The Royal Ballet- Antoinette Sibley and Anthony Dowell (1982)

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Manon, choreographed by Sir Kenneth MacMilan, was his second three-act ballet as artistic director of the Royal Ballet. He based his scenario on the 1731 novel by the Abbé Prévost, L’Histoire du Chevalier des Grieux et de Manon Lescaut. MacMilan had chosen Antoinette Sibley as Manon and Anthony Dowell as Des Grieux, giving them both a copy of Prévost’s novel to read in preparation for their roles. Continue reading

12/31/17 O&A NYC GOSPEL SUNDAY: Revelations- Alvin Ailey

Alvin Ailey’s masterwork Revelations (1960), one of the most recognizable modern dance works, remains a powerful testament to the human spirit. This cast includes April Berry, Kevin Brown, Ralph Glenmore Deborah Manning, Renee Robinson and Marilyn Banks.  Continue reading

12/30/17 O&A NYC DANCE: Misty Copland and Ailey Company Perform In Tribute To Carmen De Lavallade

Misty Copeland, Robert Fairchild and members of the Ailey Company performed in honor of Carmen de Lavallade during the Kennedy Center Honors.  Continue reading

12/29/17 O&A NYC DANCE: Carmen de Lavallade- Kennedy Center Honoree

Carmen de Lavallade, the legendary ballet dancer, choreographer and teacher, who is among the honorees feted for their illustrious careers by the Kennedy Center on Sunday December 24th. de Lavallade talks with correspondent Rita Braver about bringing modern dance to new levels; her marriage to dancer-director Geoffrey Holder; and the bittersweet memories of a life danced to the fullest. Continue reading

12/25/17 O&A NYC DANCE: Judith Jamison, Kevin Rotardier, and George Faison Perform Revelations Excerpts At The Hollywood Palace (1968)

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The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater performed two excerpts from his masterwork Revelations on the weekly television variety show The Hollywood Palace (1968). The episode hosted by Diahann Carroll helped give the then fledgling dance company national attention. The cast included Judith Jamison, George Faison and Kelvin Rotardier.  Continue reading