Leo Holder, son of the choreographer Geoffrey Holder, and Dance Theatre of Harlem Artistic Director Virginia Johnson discuss the origins of Dougla. This is followed by a special presentation of Dougla from a 1977 PBS Broadcast.
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
Dance Theatre of Harlem mourns the loss of the great Louis Johnson. His ballet, Forces of Rhythm choreographed in 1971, became a signature piece for the Dance Theatre of Harlem Company, finding its 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 Giselleperformed 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
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
Dancer, choreographer and director Louis Johnson passed away he was 90 years old. Born March 19, 1930 in Statesville, North Carolina Johnson’s parents moved to Washington D.C. and he became a standout in the D.C. school system for his artistic and gymnastic abilities. While in high school Johnson enrolled and trained at the Jones Haywood School of Dance, where he blossomed under the tutelage of Doris Jones and Clair Haywood.
Johnson moved to New York City and continued his dance training at the famed New York City School of American Ballet, where he was mentored by Jerome Robbins and George Balanchine. Johnson performed on Broadway in Four Saint in Three Acts, House of Flowers (George Balanchine choreographer) Damn Yankees (Bob Fosse) and Hallelujah Baby. The success of one of his early choreographic works Lament for the New York City Ballet Club led to offers to choreograph the Broadway production of Langston Hughes’ Black Nativity. This lead to additional theatrical productions including Lost In The Stars, Treemonisha and Purlie, which garnered Johnson a Tony Award nomination.
Johnson choregraphed La Giaconda (starring Martina La Rowe) and Aida (starring Leontyne Price) for the New York Metropolitan Opera. Johnson also choreographed two motion pictures the 1970 Cotton Come To Harlem and The Wiz starring Diana Ross and Michael Jackson. Johnson never lost his love for concert dance choreographing for the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Dance Theatre of Harlem, Joffrey Ballet, Atlanta Ballet, Philadanco and the Nanette Bearden Contemporary Dance Theater. In 1980 Johnson started the dance department at the Henry Street Settlement (New York City), where he remained until 2003. He also taught the first Black theater course at Yale University and stated dance department at Howard University (D.C.). His directorial credits include Porgy and Bess, Miss Truth and Jazzbo Brown.
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
Christopher Charles McDanielis a true “DTH Baby”. When the East Harlem native attended a Dance Theatre of Harlem lecture demonstration at his school the outgoing eight year old was instantly smitten. He was so enamored by the company and its charismatic director Arthur Mitchell that McDaniel decided he wanted to dance, and he wanted to dance at Dance Theatre of Harlem. Continue reading
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28MONDAY MEDITATIONS WITH KARINE PLANTADIT from 12:00 am to 12:30 pm
29@CookingWithKu- Vegan Dining With Akua Noni Parker from 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm
September 24, 2020
Dance Of The Village Elders- Zoom with WalterDance Of The Village Elders- Zoom with WalterTime: 11:00 am The Dance of the Village Elders are back ! This time we exercise, dance and just have fun through the zoom platform
MONDAY MEDITATIONS WITH KARINE PLANTADITMONDAY MEDITATIONS WITH KARINE PLANTADITTime: 12:00 am - 12:30 pm Monday Meditations will take over the SummerStage Instagram channel live every Monday at 12:00PM EST for a 30 minute workshop focused on keeping your mind and body happy, healthy and active with guest host Karine Plantadit, former Alvin Ailey and Broadway Tony Award nominated dancer (Come Fly Away, The Lion King), instructor, choreographer, certified yoga teacher and life coach.
September 29, 2020
@CookingWithKu- Vegan Dining With Akua Noni Parker@CookingWithKu- Vegan Dining With Akua Noni ParkerTime: 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm Learn how to prepare healthy Vegan meals with Ailey principal dancer Akua Noni Parker. Akua invites us into her kitchen every week on Tuesday at 5pm. Ingredients are list prior so we can all enjoy CookingWithKu.