Louis Johnson’s ballet, Forces of Rhythm choreographed in 1971, became a signature piece for the Dance Theatre of Harlem. Company. Johnson blended ballet, jazz, modern and West African dance creating a unique movement collage, which distinguished the company’s versatility. Forces of Rhythm took place alongside the works of George Balanchine, Arthur Mitchell, Geoffrey Holder, and other choreographers for the fledging ballet company.
Forces of Rhythm (Excerpts)
This footage is from an early PBS Documentary series Dance in America airing on Public Television in 1977. The hallmark of the work was Johnson’s groundbreaking cross cultural pollination of the western art form of ballet, with the music and movement of African, and African-American culture. We’d love to hear your memories and stories with Mr. Louis Johnson.