In 1955 a miracle happened. Arthur Mitchell, an African-American ballet dancer selected by George Balanchine and Lincoln Kirstein, joined the New York City Ballet. This historic occurrence in pre-civil rights America set the stage for many firsts by Mitchell, which changed the face and future of dance forever.
In 1969, shortly after the death of DR. Martin Luther King Jr., Arthur Mitchell and Karel Shook founded the Dance Theatre of Harlem. Nurtured by the optimism and idealism of the Civil Rights Era, the school began with classes taught in a garage on 152nd Street in Harlem, the community in New York City in which Arthur Mitchell grew up. The school's curriculum was designed to give the children of Harlem the same opportunities Mitchell had as a teenager. Dance Theatre of Harlem flourished and the nucleus of a professional company was born. (from dancetheatreofharlem.org/legacy)
As a partnership with the 2011 Spirit & Place Festival, now in its 16th year, The Madame Walker Theatre Center will honor this year's theme, "The Body," by welcoming Dance Theatre of Harlem Ensemble for four exciting events:
Pre - Show Panel Discussion on "The Dancer's Body": Nov. 10th, 6:30p, FREE and open to the public
Evening Performance: Nov. 10th, 7:30p, $35, $25, $10 with student ID (Reserved Seating)
Student Matinee: Nov. 11th, 11:00 - 12:15 p.m., $2.50 per student (schools should email email@example.com to sign up)
Ballet Master Class: Nov. 11th, 1:30 - 3:00 p.m., $15 for intermediate and advanced dancers (sign up by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org)
Group discounts are available.
"As a former ballet dancer, I remember the first time I saw Dance Theatre of Harlem as a child. It changed my whole perspective on what a professional ballet dancer was supposed to look like. I hope that by bringing DTH to Indianapolis, it will inspire young dancers, encourage arts patrons, and allow the audience to escape from their everyday lives through their performance." - Dr. Terry Whitt Bailey, President/CEO of the Madame Walker Theatre Center
The Spirit & Place Festival is a distinctive event in Indianapolis. As a signature civic engagement project of IUPUI, Spirit & Place brings together cultural, religious, and community institutions to create "never-seen-before" programs-and often "never-seen-again"-which prompt citizens to think and act differently on behalf of their communities. Its mission is to be a catalyst for civic engagement and enduring change.
The Madame Walker Theatre Center, an internationally recognized National Historic Landmark, preserves and builds upon the entrepreneurial and philanthropic legacy of its namesake by celebrating the best of African American culture and performance arts, by nurturing youth through arts education and by providing a welcoming venue for arts programming and entrepreneurial activities for all cultures in our community and nation.
Find out more about the 2011 Cultural Arts Season at www.walkertheatre.com.