How long is the dance theater of harlem show

Dance Theatre of Harlem - Charleston Gaillard Center

Thursday, October 20, 2022 | 6:00pm-6:45pm 
Gaillard Center Ballroom III

For ticket holders only. RSVP required. Please RSVP here. 

President and CEO of the Charleston Gaillard Center and the International African American Museum in conversation with the Artistic and Executive Directors of the Dance Theater of Harlem about the process of commissioning new work and the role of the arts in telling significant stories and starting conversation.

ABOUT DR. TONYA M. MATTHEWS (President & CEO, International African American Museum)

Dr. Tonya M. Matthews is President and CEO of the International African American Museum (IAAM) located in Charleston, SC at the historically sacred site of Gadsden’s Wharf, one of our nation’s most prolific former slave ports.  As a champion of authentic, empathetic storytelling of American history, IAAM is one of the nation’s newest platforms for the disruption of institutionalized racism as America continues the walk toward “a more perfect union.

A thought-leader in inclusive frameworks, social entrepreneurship, and education, Matthews has written articles and book chapters across these varied subjects. She is founder of The STEMinista Project, a movement to engage girls in their future with STEM careers. Matthews is also a poet and is included in 100 Best African American Poems (2010) edited by Nikki Giovanni. Matthews received her Ph.D. in biomedical engineering from Johns Hopkins University and her B.S.E. in engineering from Duke University, alongside a certificate in African/African American Studies.

ABOUT VIRGINIA JOHNSON (Artistic Director, Dance Theatre of Harlem)

Founding member and former principal dancer, Virginia Johnson, was appointed Artistic Director of Dance Theatre of Harlem by Arthur Mitchell in 2010. Born in Washington, DC, she graduated from the Academy of the Washington School of Ballet and briefly attended New York University as a University Scholar before joining DTH in 1969. Universally recognized as one of the great ballerinas of her generation she was cast in classical, neoclassical and contemporary works but is perhaps best known for her performances in the ballets Giselle, A Streetcar Named Desire, and Fall River Legend, each of which were videotaped for broadcast. While still performing, Johnson ventured into choreography but her interest in journalism led her to Fordham University where she is pursuing a degree in communications. After retiring from performing, an Independent Artist Grant from The Field led to an exploration of arts presenting. At the School of Visual Arts Johnson studied serigraphy, film making and television production before the opportunity to create POINTE magazine presented itself. She was founding editor-in-chief of that magazine from 2000-2009. Her honors include a Young Achiever Award from the National Council of Women, Outstanding Young Woman of America, the Dance Magazine Award, a Pen and Brush Achievement Award, the Washington Performing Arts Society’s 2008-2009 Pola Nirenska Lifetime Achievement Award, the 2009 Martha Hill Fund Mid-Career Award and honorary doctorates from Cornish College of the Arts, Swarthmore and Juilliard. She is an honorary member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority and The Society, Inc. In February2016 she was honored by First Lady Michelle Obama at the White house for her contribution to the field of dance. In 2018 Johnson held the Brackett Visiting Artist Chair at the University of Oklahoma and is the recipient of the Mary Day Award from the Washington Ballet and the 2019 CORPS de Ballet International Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2020 she was presented with a medal of honor from the Actor’s Fund. She serves on the Advisory Board of The Center for Ballet and the Arts at NYU, and Dance NYC and serves on the Board of Works & Process.

ABOUT ANNA GLASS (Executive Director, Dance Theatre of Harlem)

Anna has been involved in the performing arts as both an artist and arts administrator for over twenty years. She produced Carmen de Lavallade’s solo show, As I Remember It, an intimate portrait of this legendary artist. Anna previously served as the Managing Director of 651 ARTS, a presenting/producing arts organization dedicated to celebrating contemporary performing arts of the African Diaspora. While at 651 ARTS, she co-produced numerous projects, including the highly regarded national tour of FLY: Five First Ladies of Dance.

Anna has served as a consultant providing strategic planning and fundraising guidance to various non-profit arts organizations, including Urban Bush Women and the Weeksville Heritage Center. She currently serves on the board of the Association of Performing Arts Presenters. She has served as a Hub Site for the New England Foundation for the Arts’ National Dance Project grant program. After receiving her Juris Doctor from the University of Dayton School of Law, Anna became the Artist Representative for the Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, a company she performed with for three years (DCDC2). She is a licensed attorney in the State of New York and lives in Harlem with her husband and daughter.

ABOUT LISSA FRENKEL (President & CEO, Charleston Gaillard Center) 

Lissa Frenkel is President & CEO of the Charleston Gaillard Center. Previously, Frenkel served as managing director of the Park Avenue Armory, a premier cultural institution producing and commissioning unconventional works in the performing and visual arts in Manhattan. During her tenure with the Armory, she was instrumental in building its operating budget from $6 million to $27 million and in leading the $165 million in capital redevelopment projects that invested in the adaptive reuse and restoration of the building.

Dance Theatre of Harlem

by Karen Chilton

Born in Port of Spain, Trinidad on June 11, 1920, Hazel Scott was the only child of R. Thomas Scott, a West African scholar from Liverpool, England and Alma Long Scott, a concert pianist and music teacher. A precocious child who discovered the piano at the age of three, Hazel surprised everyone with her ability to play by ear. Once the family migrated to the States, Alma secured an audition for her daughter at the prestigious Juilliard School of Music. Though the entry age of admission was 16, Hazel’s prodigious gifts prompted school administrators to make special arrangements for her to begin rigorous study in piano performance.

After playing gigs around her Harlem neighborhood, winning a competition to host her own radio show at 14 years old, and making her Broadway debut by 18, it was her appearance at New York City’s first integrated nightclub, Café Society, (at the insistence of family friend and mentor, Billie Holiday) that would be the catalyst for her meteoric rise in the entertainment industry. Wowing audiences with her swing renditions of classical masterpieces by Chopin, Bach and Rachmaninoff, Hazel Scott soon became known as the “Darling of Café Society.”

There was little separation between Hazel’s concert performances and her outspoken politics. She attributed it to being raised by very proud, strong-willed, independent-minded women. She was one of the first black entertainers to refuse to play before segregated audiences. Written in all her contracts was a standing clause that required forfeiture if there was a dividing line between the races. “Why would anyone come to hear me, a Negro, and refuse to sit beside someone just like me?”

By the time Hollywood came calling, Hazel had achieved such stature that she could successfully challenge the studios’ treatment of Black actors, demanding pay commensurate with her white counterparts, and refusing to play the subservient roles in which black actors were commonly cast. She would wear no maid uniforms or washerwoman rags, insisting that her name credit appear the same in every film: “Hazel Scott as Herself.” She performed in five major motion pictures in the early 1940s, including I Dood It, directed by Vincente Minnelli and featuring Lena Horne; The Heat’s On, starring Mae West; and the George Gershwin biopic, Rhapsody in Blue.

It was during these peak years of her career that Hazel began a romantic affair with the crusading Harlem preacher and politician, Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. , who was making a bid for the U.S Congress. The couple married in August of 1945. After giving birth to their son, Adam C. Powell III, Hazel settled into domestic life in upstate New York, putting her career on the backburner to fulfill her duties as political wife, first lady of Abyssinian Baptist Church, and mother—the role she loved most of all.

In July of 1950, Hazel was offered an unprecedented opportunity by the DuMont network to have her own TV show, becoming the first Black American performer with a nationally syndicated program. Without variety acts, Hazel was the solo star of the show, performing piano and vocals, often singing tunes in one of the seven languages she spoke, with a rhythm section that included bassist Charles Mingus and drummer Max Roach.

But before she could fully enjoy her groundbreaking achievement, her name would appear on the blacklist of suspected communists during the McCarthy Era. Due to her civil rights activism, she became a target of the House Un- American Activities Committee (HUAC). After requesting a hearing to clear her name, the government’s suspicions were enough to put a halt to her career. The Hazel Scott Show was canceled, and concert bookings dried up. Around the same time, after eleven years of marriage, Hazel and Adam decided to part ways. With her young son in tow, she joined the burgeoning black expatriate community in Paris.

After a decade of living abroad, she would return to an American music scene that no longer valued what she had to offer. Once the “Darling of Café Society,” Hazel continued to perform, playing small clubs to a devoted fan base, perfecting her style and constantly exploring new ways of expressing herself, musically.

In October of 1981, Hazel Scott died of pancreatic cancer. Her musical contributions span many decades, and though she is not as widely recognized as some of her contemporaries, her extraordinary contributions are now experiencing a resurgence of interest and enthusiasm. Her legacy lives on as a brilliant American artist, entertainer, and advocate for civil rights.

Karen Chilton is author of Hazel Scott: The Pioneering Journey of a Jazz Pianist from Café Society to Hollywood to HUAC, University of Michigan Press.

Feature Articles | November 2022

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For the first time in over a decade, the Limón Dance Foundation will bring all of its employees, company members and administrators under one roof. Instead of renting studio space across the city for dancers' rehearsals, a separate space for open classes and professional student programs, and multiple locations for administrative offices, the company will finally have one place to call home. As wonderful as it was for a company that, since 19The 40s was the backbone of the modern American dance scene, even more remarkable is that this new roof is built by another great American dance institution, the Dance Theater of Harlem.

DanceNYC featuring the Lemon Dance Company and the Harlem Dance Theater. Photo by Samantha L. Lawton.

Dance Theater of Harlem (DTH) has opened its doors at the bright and airy Everett Performing Arts Center, and as the Lemon Dance Company rehearses and offers classes right in the hallway, the partnership could change the dance landscape in upper Manhattan. . DanceNYC and the Harlem Arts Alliance joined the two dance troupes along with the eager crowd at their open house in honor of Limon's new residence, expressing joy and support for what Limon can add to the community and grow in partnership with DTH.

immerse yourself in the dance

“I've spent most of my life in these studios, and it makes sense,” says DTH art director Virginia Johnson. “The idea that there is another arts organization above all else is very precious. We communicate, we exchange air, ideas seep in... in that sense, it's a sacred space."

DanceNYC featuring the Lemon Dance Company and the Harlem Dance Theater. Photo by Samantha L. Lawton.

Feelings shared by many. “It's really nice for dancers to have one place, have their own lockers, and not have to worry about where to go for the next rehearsal,” says Limón CEO Juan José Escalante. “From an artistic point of view, this potential is definitely there. Call it a similar vision… there are many opportunities for collaboration and space sharing. It's all possible and we can start discussing artistic goals as the logistics of sharing a house are already in place."

However, there are still many elements that need to be ironed out as the residence begins to skyrocket. “We have these conversations,” Escalante says. "It all just started in May and it was obviously such a great idea that by mid-July the company started rehearsing there, and by early August they had the administration move to offices there. "

Now that they've established a company home, the Lemon Foundation can figure out how and when to offer classes to the community, as well as relocate their Professional Development Program (PSP), currently running at the Peridance Capezio Center, over 130 blocks downtown cities.

DanceNYC featuring the Lemon Dance Company and the Harlem Dance Theater. Photo by Samantha L. Lawton.

“Being able to bring everything together under one roof provides more efficiency,” explains Escalante. “Walk a few steps and we are in the same studio as the dancers. This is part of a strategic plan for the future of Limon, in which we will begin to implement several initiatives, including the school. We are analyzing how to make classes available to PSP students and the community. PSP has students from all over the world and the number of students we can accept is limited due to the location. The DTH building is large and has several studios, so the program can easily be expanded.

Members of the Lemon community, DTH, Harlem and other communities in New York City hope that this residence will be a long-term, supportive, encouraging and fruitful partnership. As Linda Walton, executive director of the Harlem Arts Alliance notes, “Harlem Dance Theater has been a mainstay of this community for many years. We are so excited about this great partnership… making new connections with dance.”

The Harlem Dance Theater turns 46 and the Limón Company turns 70, so there's plenty to celebrate as these two legendary American dance companies come together under one roof.

Li Shangfein from Dance informs.

mimi summer

Pictured (top): DanceNYC with the Lemon Dance Company and the Harlem Dance Theater. Photo by Samantha L. Lawton.

Arthur Mitchell (dancer) -

For articles of the same name, see Arthur Mitchell and Mitchell.

Arthur Mitchell (born in the Harlem area of ​​New York City and died in Manhattan) is a dancer and choreographer from The African American Ballet. He was the first African-American dancer to work with the New York City Ballet (NYCB), and the only one before the age of 19.70 years. He danced in major ballets by American choreographer George Balanchine such as A Midsummer Night's Dream , The Nutcracker , Bugaku , Agon and Arcade .

Balanchine also creates the famous pas de deux in his masterpiece Agon , especially for Arthur Mitchell and the ballerina Diana Adams. Unfortunately, in segregationist America, a significant part of the public is outraged at seeing a mixed duet, and television refuses to broadcast this pas de deux until 1968 years old on the Tonight Show .


  • 1 Biography
  • 2 Differences
  • 3 Notes and references
  • 4 External links


After leaving NYCB in 1970, Arthur Mitchell danced on Broadway and founded several ballet companies in Spoleto, Italy, Washington, DC, and Brazil.

In 1968, deeply affected by the assassination of Martin Luther King, he returned to Harlem to develop dance there. At 19In 1969, he founded a classical dance school, Dance Theater of Harlem (DTH). The establishment quickly became a driving force, allowing many young African Americans to embark on prestigious careers as professional dancers, as well as theater managers, set designers, costume designers, or show administrators.

Among Arthur Mitchell's choreographer of ballets, we must mention his Creole Giselle (1984), a revision of the classical romantic ballet Giselle , which for him takes place in XIX - th centuries in plantations. The ballet has won the prestigious Laurence Olivier Award in Britain.


  • 1993 - Kennedy Center Honors, one of the youngest
  • 1994 - Fellow MacArthur
  • 1995 - National Medal of Arts
  • 1999 - Introduced at the National Museum of Dance Whitney Hall of Fame CV (Saratoga Springs (NY))
  • 2001 - Heinz Prize in the Arts and Humanities section.

Honorary doctorates from universities such as Hamilton College, Brown University, City College of the City University of New York, Harvard University, Juilliard School, New School for Social Research, North Carolina School of the Arts, and Williams College. Also from New York City.

Notes and links

  1. (in) Jennifer Dunning, " Arthur Mitchell dies at 84"; Showed the way to black dancers " in The New York Times, (accessed September 19, 2018)
  2. (in) " Mitchell " [PDF] at the-ballet.

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