Dance Theatre of Harlem 2017 started their new season with a short film, High Above that will inspire little Black girls who dream of being a ballet dancer. Yes, Black art can include ballet. Every season DTH showcases the talent of African American ballet dancers. Art is important in young people's lives, and in this story, dance is part of a healing process.
Dance Theatre of Harlem (DTH) is an American professional ballet company and school based in Harlem, New York City. It was the brainchild of Arthur Mitchell, the first African-American male dancer in a major ballet company (New York City Ballet.) In the aftermath of the assassination of Martin Luther King, Mr. Mitchell saw the need to give back to his community. In 1969, he along with his teacher Karel Shook started a school for young children in the basement of a church in Harlem. Starting with only 30 students, the school quickly grew to 400. Today the DTH is renowned for being both "the first black classical ballet company", and "the first major ballet company to prioritize black dancers". The Dance Theatre of Harlem School offers training to more than 1,000 young people annually with its community program called Dancing Through Barriers, open to any child who wants to study dance. The company's Dancing Through Barriers Ensemble does outreach throughout the US. It accepts pre-school children up to senior citizens. The school offers specializations in children's movement, European ballet, choreography, and musicology. For families there is a Sunday Matinee performance monthly where they can explore the art of dance.
High Above is a promotion film for their annual spring engagement at New York City Center from April 19-22. The film's title track is a collaboration with India Arie from her new single. Share the joy of dance with young people at their matinee performance on April 22. Performance includes “Meet the Ballerina” event immediately following the performance. For their complete nationwide schedule for 2017 check their calendar.