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

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

12/25/17 O&A NYC HOLLYWOOD MONDAY: The Nutcracker- New York City Ballet (1993)

The Nutcracker, also known as George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker, is a 1993 American Christmas musical film based on Peter Martin’s stage production and directed by Emile Ardolino.  The film stars Darci Kistler, Damain Woetzel, Kyra Nichols, Bart Robinson Cook, Macaulay Culkin, Jessica Lynn Cohen, Wendy Whelan, Margaret Tracey, Gen Horiuchi, Tom Gold and the New York City Ballet.  Continue reading

12/12/17 O&A NYC 12 DAYS OF NUTCRACKER: Royal Opera Ballet- Coffee (Arabian Dance)

Royal Opera Ballet’s The Nutcracker features a sensual Coffee (Arabian Dance) a pas de quatre. Continue reading

11/28/17 O&A NYC DANCE: Ailey Company To Dance George Faison’s Suite Otis At Gala

By Walter Rutledge

The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater will present an excerpt of George Faison’s masterwork Suite Otis at their New York City Center season opening night gala, Wednesday, November 29 2017. Choreographed in 1971 for the George Faison Universal Dance Experience the work joined the Ailey repertoire in 1977. 40 years after it’s Ailey debut Suite Otis continues to excite and entertain audiences with verve, aplomb, fleet footed technique and imaginative Archimedean storytelling.

The company will perform the finale section set to Otis Redding’s Tenderness. The full cast section reintroduces the dancers creating a visually exciting yet compelling epilog. Throughout the work Faison (the imperial storyteller) does what every choreographer should do- invites us into his vision and delivers with clarity, focus and impeccable choreographic timing.

Balletomanes still long for the return of old fashion honest storytelling- the hallmark of Ailey’s original company. In Suite Otis Faison’s articulate use of the dance narrative genre captures the majesty and universal humanity of both Otis Redding’s music and the black dance experience. This gave him a voice in an era when Black American dance and culture had started to becoming a global  force.

Suite Otis- George Faison

What Faison did (and continues to do) is to keep the dance/theatre aesthetic in the forefront of the arts conversation. Tenderness will be performed for one performance only on Wednesday, November 29 for tickets and a complete schedule of the five-week New York City season visit ailey.org.

11/6/17 O&A NYC DANCE: Bill Bojangle Robinson – Stair Dance from Harlem Is Heaven (1932)

The Stair Dance featured in Harlem Is Heaven (1932): one of the first movies to ever feature an all-black cast, this film also boasts one of the earliest recorded versions of Bill Robinson’s famous stair dance routine, where he tapped up and down two flights of five steps joined by a shared platform. Continue reading

10/28/17 O&A NYC IT’S SATURDAY ANYTHING GOES EXTRA- DANCE: Top 20 Soul Train Dancers of All Time

Soul Train dancers taught the world how to boogie in platform shoes, a huge Afros and bell bottom polyester pants while looking very so cool. The alumni include Shalamar members Jody Watley and Jeffrey Daniel, and let’s not forget the Asian girl.  Continue reading

9/4/17 O&A NYC DANCE: Arthur Mitchell- Dance Pioneer

Arthur Mitchell, pioneering ballet dancer, artistic director and choreographer has recently secured his achieves with Columbia University’s Rare Book & Manuscript Library. Continue reading