They Called Her Moses is Donald McKayle‘s story of freedom fighter Harriet Tubman. The cast includes Jacqueline Walcott, Robert Powell, Sylvia Waters, Arthur Mitchell, Kathleen Stanford, Donald McKayle and Carmen DeLavallade. Continue reading
John Henry is the tale of the steel drivin’ man who fights against automation. He challenges the steam drill and wins, but dies with his hammer in his hand. Choreographed by DTH Co-founder Arthur Mitchell in 1988, his ballet is a testament to the singular perseverance that allowed the folk hero to triumph over impossible odds. Continue reading
Dance Theatre of Harlem’s iconic Firebird places the Russian folk tale about a magical bird that triumphs over evil in an exotic Caribbean setting. John Taras’ choreography to Stravinsky’s familiar score was further enlivened by sets and costumes by Geoffrey Holder. The 1982 DTH production was a tremendous worldwide success.
Cicely Tyson and Arthur Mitchell had a friendship the spanned almost 60 years. Tyson shared her heartfelt memories of their meeting and endearing friendship at the December 3, 2018 memorial at Riverside Church, New York City. Continue reading
The 2018 return of Geoffrey Holder’s masterwork Dougla to the repertoire Dance Theatre of Harlem (DTH) was a resounding success. The work is a sensorially sumptuous movement fest; and it is no wonder Dougla has remained an audience favorite since its premiere on April 16, 1974.
When the ballet Giselle was created in 1841, it was not imagined to be performed by men and women of color, Black men and women. In 1984, Dance Theatre of Harlem Co-Founder Arthur Mitchell changed that. The acclaimed DTH production of this classic, Creole Giselle, was re-conceived by Arthur Mitchell and staged by Frederic Franklin, based on the original by Jean Coralli and Jules Perrot
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. Continue reading
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. Continue reading
By Walter Rutledge
Louis Johnson’s passing marks the end of an era in Black dance. Johnson was the last of the of his generation of 20th century American choreographers of African descent and International renowned. His contemporaries, Alvin Ailey, Talley Beatty, Geoffrey Holder, Donald McKayle, and Arthur Mitchell, all forged through the restrictive Jim Crow era of hatred and segregation; that unfortunately included the arts- and dance. Continue reading
By Walter Rutledge
Geoffrey Holder’s Banda dance debuted in the 1954 Truman Capote/Harold Arlen musical House Of Flowers. Holder the Baron of The Cemetery (based on the Haitian Loa of Death Baron Samedi) received both a performer and choreographer credit in the program. The Broadway musical takes place somewhere in the West Indies during Mardi Gras weekend. Continue reading