8/10/18 O&A NYC SHALL WE DANCE FRIDAY: Leonard Cohen- Dance Me To The End Of Love

This passionate duet is set to Leonard Cohen’s Dance Me To The End of Love. Continue reading

7/26/18 O&A NYC SHALL WE DANCE FRIDAY ENCORE PERFORMANCE: Le jeune homme et la mort by Roland Petit (Zizi Jeanmaire & Rudolf Nureyev)- 1966

ENCORE

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Le Jeune Homme et La Mort was choreographed by Roland Petit  choreographed in 1946 to Bach’s Passacaglia and Fugue in C Minor, BWV 582, with a one-act libretto by Jean Cocteau. It tells the story of a Young Man driven to suicide by his faithless lover. Sets were by George Wakhevitch and costumes variously reported as being by Karinska or Cocteau. Continue reading

7/20/18 O&A NYC SHALL WE DANCE FRIDAY: John Cranko’s Romeo and Juliet Balcony Scene – Featuring Marcia Haydee and Richard Cragun

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Balcony scene from John Cranko’s Romeo and Juliet featuring Marcia Haydee and Richard Cragun with music by Sergei Prokofiev. Continue reading

6/15/18 O&A NYC SHALL WE DANCE FRIDAY:  Philadanco Performs Christopher Huggins’ Latched at TEDxPenn

Philadanco performs Latched (2014) by resident choreographer Christopher Huggins at TEDxPenn. Continue reading

5/4/18 O&A NYC SHALL WE DANCE FRIDAY: Maya Plisetskaya Dances Bolero, And The Dying Swan

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Maya Plisetskaya, Prima Ballerina Assoluta of the Bolshoi Ballet, danced Maurice Bejart’s Bolero set to the famous Ravel score in 1975. Plisetskaya created a stunning theatrical experience. What makes the piece so compelling is that although Plisetskaya may be accompanied by dozens of other dancers mirroring her movement, the first and only focus is on the prima ballerina herself.  Continue reading

4/6/18 O&A NYC SHALL WE DANCE FRIDAY: Anthony Dowell and Natalia Makarova- A Perfect Partership

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Two great artists perform excerpts from three works; Kenneth MacMillan’s Manon, Sir Frederick Ashton’s  A Month In The Country and Act 3 Swan Lake Continue reading

3/30/18 O&A NYC SHALL WE DANCE FRIDAY: Chasito vs Lil Storm – BattleFest 46

 

Chasito gave Lil Storm the business at Battlefest 46. Its wonderful to see the youth get into dance. This is good parent-child bonding; spending time to together is one of the best forms parenting.Who knows maybe they will follow sin their fathers’ footsteps. Continue reading

2/16/18 O&A NYC SHALL WE DANCE FRIDAY: Qualia- Melissa Hamilton and Eric Underwood (Royal Ballet)


Qualia, meaning a raw and sensory experience, marked Wayne McGregor’s debut on The Royal Opera House stage. Featuring a sensorial pas de deux that was originally created for Edward Watson and Leanne Benjamin, Qualia was most recently performed by Melissa Hamilton and Eric Underwood.  Continue reading

2/9/18 O&A NYC SHALL WE DANCE FRIDAY: Giselle’s Mad Scene- Virginia Johnson and the Dance Theatre of Harlem

Dance Theatre of Harlem presented the Creole Giselle in 1987 the world transported the classic ballet from the medieval Rhineland to the Louisiana bayous of the 19th century. In this production the cast includes Virginia Johnson- Giselle, Eddie Shellman- Albrecht and Thera Ward- Bathilde. Continue reading

1/26/18 O&A NYC SHALL WE DANCE FRIDAY: An Afternoon With Arthur Mitchell

By Walter Rutledge


I believe that children are our future;
Teach them well and let them lead the way.
Show them all the beauty they possess inside.
Give them a sense of pride,
To make it easier;
Let the children’s laughter remind us how we used to be. George Benson- The Greatest  
                                                                                                                                    

This is the opening stanza for George Benson’s The Greatest written for the 1977 biopic of the same title about Muhammad Ali. It is also the music and title of a duet choreographed by Arthur Mitchell for Dance Theatre Of Harlem, and in many ways it remains Mitchell’s credo. An Afternoon with Arthur Mitchell presented at the Lenfest Center for the Arts, Columbia University on Saturday, January 20, 2018 was an opportunity to see a master teacher, director, educator and showman in action.

 After a short introduction Mitchell and percussionist Baba Don Eaton Lenfest Center for the Arts, Columbia University proceeded to teach the audience a series of polyrhythmic music passages. The highlight was a rare screening of the dance documentary (1973), featuring Mitchell’s ballet Rhythmetron, and a fledgling Dance Theatre of Harlem. Most of the film took place in the basement of the Church of the Master, the home of his first school at 81 Morningside Avenue.

Throughout the film Mitchell shares his gift of dance with the charm, confidence and authority that has become his trademark. He masterfully used popular social dances as a bridge to ballet. Mitchell made classic ballet less foreign and more accessible to the young audience from the Harlem community. It was wonderful seeing a performance by the original cast of Rhythmetron; which featured Lydia Abarca, Yvonne Hall, Virginia Johnson, Ronald Perry and Walter Raines.

Following the film Mitchell took questions from the audience, which included balletomanes, dance history enthusiasts and young dancers from Harlem School Of The Arts and Dance Theatre Of Harlem. At 83 years old Mitchell displayed the same vigor, charisma and irrepressible wit we had seen earlier in the film. Always “Mr. Mitchell”, he shared anecdotes, offered advice, and even corrected deportment with an uncompromising paternal demeanor.

An Afternoon With Arthur Mitchell

In her book Page by Page author Ruth Page has a chapter entitled Father Mitchell 1972. Page writes: “Arthur Mitchell is a person with no vices. He doesn’t smoke or drink, and eats a lot of ice cream. He works very hard and is truly a splendid example for young dancers. He is really a sort of Sir Galahad.”

For more information about the Wallach Art Gallery and the Arthur Mitchell: Harlem’s Ballet Trailblazer exhibition and related events visit wallach.columbia.edu. 

Upcoming events include:

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.

Discussion with former dancers from the Dance Theatre of Harlem
Saturday  February 24, 2018, 1pm

For more information about the Wallach Art Gallery and the Arthur Mitchell: Harlem’s Ballet Trailblazer exhibition and related events visit wallach.columbia.edu.