South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center Presents
Dance Theatre of Harlem: The Return of the Black Ballerina
The troupe is celebrating its 50th anniversary with a series of nationwide performances
MIAMI (Dec.3, 2018) - The South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center (SMDCAC) presents Dance Theatre of Harlem (DTH), as they return to South Florida for their 50th anniversary. Performances will take place on Saturday, Jan. 26 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, Jan. 27 at 3 p.m. on SMDCAC’s main stage.
DTH was founded in 1969 by Arthur Mitchell at the height of the Civil Rights Movement and is recognized as the first black classical ballet company. Mitchell, the first African American male to become a permanent member of the New York City Ballet, became inspired to form the company after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. His ground-breaking idea was to transform the lives of young people in Harlem by providing training in classical ballet. In a few short years, his response to tragedy became a leading dance institution of unparalleled global acclaim.
This year’s program features a special performance of “Dougla,” choreographed by Geoffrey Holder. This piece will be a collaboration between DTH and The Peter London Global Dance Company, a local troupe recognized as South Florida’s leading professional multi-cultural contemporary dance company. The program’s entirety includes:
• “Vessels” choreographed by Darrell Grand Moultrie (contemporary ballet)
• “Le Corsaire Pas de Deux” by Petipa (classical tutu ballet)
• “Adagietto #5” by Royston Maldoon (striking and emotional ballet set to Mahler’s 5th Symphony)
• “Dougla” by Geoffrey Holder (exquisite pageantry)
In January 2018, the troupe returned to South Florida for the first time in almost 20 years as part of their two-season residency program: The Return of the Black Ballerina. This was made possible through a Knight Arts Challenge grant awarded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.
DTH has had many significant milestones throughout its history. In 1988, they embarked on a five-week tour of the USSR in 1988 that resulted in sold-out performances in Moscow, Tbilisi, and Leningrad. The company also received a standing ovation at the famed Kirov Theatre. In 2006, President George W. Bush honored DTH at the White House at an evening of performances by current and former members.
Due to financial constraints, DTH was on hiatus for eight years. In 2011, Virginia Johnson, a founding dancer and former prima ballerina of the company, was named Artistic Director.
In addition to the two main performances, DTH will also be participating in a series of community outreach events:
• Master Class Workshop with Miami Arts Charter School
Wednesday, Jan. 23 at 9:30 a.m. at SMDCAC
• Master Class
Wednesday, Jan. 23 at 11:30 a.m. at Miami-Dade College Kendall Campus
• Private Performance for local Miami-Dade students
Thursday, Jan. 24 and Friday, Jan. 25 at 10:30 a.m. at SMDCAC
• Pre-show Dance Talk with dance critic Jordan Levin & DTH Dancers
Saturday, Jan. 26 at 6:30 p.m. and Sunday, Jan. 27 at 1:30 p.m. at SMDCAC
• Post-show Discussion with dance critic Jordan Levin & DTH Dancers
Saturday, Jan. 26 and Sunday, Jan. 27 after main performance at SMDCAC
Tickets are $25-65 for regular admission and can be purchased at SMDCAC.org or by calling 786-573-5300. The Center is located at 10950 SW 211 Street, Cutler Bay. Tickets for patrons ages 13-22 can be purchased for $5 through Culture Shock Miami, a program that provides teens and young adults with reduced pricing for performances and cultural attractions throughout Miami-Dade County.
About South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center
The South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center is managed by the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs, with funding support from the Office of the Miami-Dade County Mayor and Board of County Commissioners. The Center is dedicated to presenting and supporting arts and culture and providing access to the arts to the entire Miami-Dade County community. More information about the Center and its programs can be found at www.smdcac.org.
It is the policy of Miami-Dade County to comply with all of the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The facility is accessible and assistive listening devices are available in the Main Stage Auditorium and the Black Box Theater space. To request materials in accessible format, and/or any accommodation to attend an event at the South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center, please contact Stephanie Aponte, 786-573-5314, firstname.lastname@example.org, at least five days in advance to initiate your request. TTY users may also call 711 (Florida Relay Service).