4/8/16 O&A NYC SHALL WE DANCE FRIDAY: Arthur Mitchell’s Barrier Breaking Creole Giselle

Shall We Dance

Arthur Mitchell’s Creole Giselle performed by the Dance Theatre Of Harlem (DTH), and set the traditional story of Giselle in 1841 Louisiana broke barriers with this all African American adaptation. 

In DTH’s version, Giselle Lanaux faces the same social obstacles and rejection by Albert Monet- Cloutier. The social hierarchy of freed blacks was measured by how far removed one’s family was from slavery. The community’s “aristocrats” looked down on those whose immediate family had been enslaved. 

Virginia Johnson in Creole Giselle

The adaptation of Giselle for the Dance Theatre of Harlem could not have happened at a better time. Not only did they break barriers in the dance world, they also did so outside of the dance community. 

Virginia Johnson & Eddie J. Shellman in Giselle Act II

Dance Theatre of Harlem’s continues their 2016 New York season, April 6 through 8 at New York City Center. For tickets and program information visit nycitycenter.org.

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