Founded in 1969 by Arthur Mitchell and Karel Shook in response to the assassination of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Dance Theatre of Harlem
embraces “innovative and bold new forms of artistic expression.”
Local dance fans can see the group up close when it performs at 3 and 7:30 p.m. on Jan. 21 at the Ohio Theatre. The multi-cultural company will perform a mixed repertoire that will feature a range of music (everything from classical and spiritual to Motown); a pre-performance discussion will take place at 6:45 p.m., and there will also be a post-performance Q&A with the dancers on stage.
Both performances will feature three works, including one choreographed by Cleveland native Dianne McIntyre. Set to a recorded score that includes songs performed by the Spelman College Glee Club and original music by percussionist Eli Fountain, the piece depicts “the changes that African-American women have experienced in history and the strength that they carry throughout them.”
“When the women were learning the choreography, I had them learn the history behind it as well,” says McIntyre in a press release. “They researched different historical women such as Harriet Tubman and Sojourner Truth. The dancers were learning more than the steps, they were exploring the history behind their roots as well.”
The performances will conclude with “Return,” a ballet set to the songs of soul icons Aretha Franklin and James Brown.
Tickets are available at DANCECleveland.org
or by calling Playhouse Square at 216-241- 6000. Groups of five or more can call DANCECleveland at 216-991-9000 for information about discounted group tickets.
While in town, the troupe will also conduct dance master classes on Friday, Jan. 20, at Cleveland State University’s Middough Building. More information and required RSVPs are available by emailing Alison@dancecleveland.org.