Dance Theatre of Harlem is a leading dance institution of unparalleled global acclaim, encompassing a performing Ensemble, a leading arts education center and Dancing Through Barriers®, a national and international education and community outreach program. Each component of Dance Theatre of Harlem carries a solid commitment towards enriching the lives of young people and adults around the world through the arts.
Founded in 1969 by Arthur Mitchell and Karel Shook, Dance Theatre of Harlem was considered “one of ballet’s most exciting undertakings” (The New York Times, 1971). Shortly after the assassination of The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Mitchell was inspired to start a school that would offer children — especially those in Harlem, the community in which he was born — the opportunity to learn about dance and the allied arts. Now in its fourth decade, Dance Theatre of Harlem has grown into a multi-cultural dance institution with an extraordinary legacy of providing opportunities for creative expression and artistic excellence that continues to set standards in the performing arts. Dance Theatre of Harlem has achieved unprecedented success, bringing innovative and bold new forms of artistic expression to audiences in New York City, across the country and around the world.
The Company is known for its thrilling performances that successfully challenge preconceived notions. The Dance Theatre of Harlem Company consists of 14 racially diverse dance artists who perform an eclectic, demanding \repertoire. From treasured classics,neo-classical works by George Balanchine and resident choreographer Robert Garland, cutting edge contemporary works and works that use the language of ballet to celebrate African American culture, the Company brings new life to the art form of classical ballet. In addition to performances in New York City across the country and abroad, Company activities that carry a message of empowerment through the arts also include engaging community through education activities for audiences and young people.