Dancers from Dance Theatre of Harlem

Dance Theatre of Harlem

A three-year collaboration kicks off between the Hop and a company with a rich legacy and powerful vision for ballet in the 21st century.

Starting this summer, the Hopkins Center for the Arts embarks on a landmark three-year collaboration with the groundbreaking ballet company Dance Theatre of Harlem. 

This multi-ethnic company has been a pioneer in the field of American ballet. Touring nationally and internationally, DTH models how the arts can promote understanding across difference. By creating career and training opportunities for dancers of color and celebrating African-American culture in their work, DTH has radically reshaped what ballet is and who it is for.

For three consecutive summers, the Hop and DTH will collaborate on creative projects to expand experiential learning opportunities in dance and the interrelated practices of choreography and academic scholarship. The company's work at Dartmouth will contribute to critical conversations on race, activism and equity in and through the arts.

Building upon the model of "performance as platform," work created during each DTH summer residency will be an inspiration for rich, cross-departmental explorations. Previous examples of this approach to interdisciplinary learning included the Hop's partnership with Stratford Festival on Coriolanus (2018) and with Ragamala Dance Company on Fires of Varanasi (2019-20). This summer's residency will focus on the development of "The Hazel Scott Project," a newly commissioned piece for choreographer Tiffany Rea-Fisher.

"Our aim was to create a mutually supportive partnership that offered opportunities for interdisciplinary research and for our students to observe Dance Theatre of Harlem's creative process. This does just that, while opening the door for us all to learn from each other's histories. These long-term relationships that connect artistic disciplines with courses across the humanities and sciences make for deeper learning experiences and simultaneously shape our community."
—Mary Lou Aleskie
Howard L. Gilman '44 Director, Hopkins Center for the Arts

"From Arthur Mitchell's pioneering Creole Giselle to Dianne McIntyre's powerful and poignant ballet, Change, Dance Theatre of Harlem has utilized the art form of ballet not only as a tool for transformation, but also as a platform for social justice."
—Anna Glass
Executive Director, Dance Theatre of Harlem
 


The Hazel Scott Project

This new dance work honors the legacy of Hazel Scott, a Black piano virtuoso, café society "darling" and Hollywood trailblazer who risked her life and career through outspoken civil rights activism. With her talents in both classical and jazz music, she changed perceptions about people of color and communicated across a diverse range of people and expressions. 

The project provides the creative and academic focus for the adjoining summer course Dance Theatre Of Harlem Workshop: The Hazel Scott Project, Artist As Activist. Synthesizing aspects of cultural storytelling, theater, movement, activism and biography, Dartmouth students will collaborate with DTH as the company begins original choreography for the project. It will be co-taught by Monica White Ndounou, Associate Professor of Theater and scholar of African-American performing arts and film; and John Heginbotham, Theater Lecturer and Director of the Dartmouth Dance Ensemble; and will feature guest visits by the talented members of DTH.


Dance Theatre of Harlem's Legacy

For over 50 years, Dance Theatre of Harlem has strengthened and redefined the field of American ballet. DTH's founder Arthur Mitchell, the famed protégé of Russian ballet dancer George Balanchine, made history in 1955 as the first Black principal dancer at New York City Ballet. Amidst the height of the civil rights movement, Mitchell and choreographer Karel Shook created DTH as a haven for dancers of all colors — an act of artistic resistance.

Based in New York City, the Company tours nationally and internationally, presenting a powerful and inclusive vision for ballet in the 21st century. Their forward-thinking repertoire includes treasured classics by George Balanchine and resident choreographer Robert Garland, as well as innovative contemporary commissions that celebrate African-American culture by choreographers including Darrell Grand Moultrie, Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, Tanya Wideman-Davis and Thaddeus Davis. Through performances and community engagement as well as arts education from the Dance Theatre of Harlem School, the Company carries forward its message of empowerment through the arts for all.

 Learn more about the company's history and legacy.

In case you missed it

Hop@Home: DTH Virtual Ballet

Dance Theatre of Harlem Virtual Ballet: Dougla

Sat, July 25

Watch the online premiere of Dance Theatre of Harlem's Dougla.

DTH History

1969

The assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. prompted DTH’s founding in 1969.

1st

DTH was the first American ballet company to perform in Russia after the fall of the Soviet Union.

41

DTH has performed in 41 countries, 44 states, and more than 250 North American cities.

Dance Theatre of Harlem & The Hazel Scott Project

Virginia Johnson
Artistic Director, Dance Theatre of Harlem
Anna Glass
Executive Director, Dance Theatre of Harlem
John Heginbotham
Faculty Instructor, The Hazel Scott Project
Monica White Ndounou
Faculty Instructor, The Hazel Scott Project
Tiffany Rea-Fisher
Choreographer, The Hazel Scott Project