Hopkins Center and Dance Theatre of Harlem Launch a New Partnership | Live Culture

Hopkins Center and Dance Theatre of Harlem Launch a New Partnership

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Dance Theatre of Harlem performing 'Dancing on the Front Porch of Heaven' - COURTESY OF DANCE THEATRE OF HARLEM
  • Courtesy of Dance Theatre of Harlem
  • Dance Theatre of Harlem performing 'Dancing on the Front Porch of Heaven'
This summer marks the start of a multiyear collaboration between the Hopkins Center for the Arts at Dartmouth College and Dance Theatre of Harlem. During three summer residencies, the partners will create a new ballet work, expand experiential learning opportunities in dance, support links between choreography and academic scholarship, and engage the arts as a tool for social change.

Based in New York City, Dance Theatre of Harlem has been shaping the ballet world for more than 50 years. Its founder, Arthur Mitchell, was the first Black principal dancer at New York City Ballet and was a protégée of Russian-born choreographer George Balanchine.

Dance Theatre of Harlem offers training and career opportunities to dancers of color and celebrates African American culture through the arts. Through its work, the multiethnic company has made the art of ballet more inclusive and expanded its audience.



"From Arthur Mitchell's pioneering Creole Giselle to Dianne McIntyre's powerful and poignant ballet, Change, Dance Theatre of Harlem has utilized the art form of ballet not only as a tool for transformation, but also as a platform for social justice,” said executive director Anna Glass in a press release.

At Dartmouth this summer, the company will begin work on the Hazel Scott Project with choreographer Tiffany Rea-Fisher. Commissioned by Washington Performing Arts in Washington, DC, the project honors the legacy of Hazel Scott (1920-1981), a jazz and classical pianist, singer and actor. The acclaimed artist was an outspoken critic of racial discrimination and segregation who helped improve how Black people were represented in American films. The new dance work will premiere in 2022.

Alexandra Hutchinson of Dance Theatre of Harlem - COURTESY OF DANCE THEATRE OF HARLEM
  • Courtesy of Dance Theatre of Harlem
  • Alexandra Hutchinson of Dance Theatre of Harlem
Inspired by the Hazel Scott Project, Dartmouth faculty in theater and dance will teach a course this summer that explores links between the arts and advocacy and invites students to expand historical understanding and social change through dance.

During all of the summer residencies, the college will offer educational opportunities in dance, theater, African-American studies and related fields that spark conversations on race, activism and equity in the arts.

“These long-term relationships that connect artistic disciplines with courses across the humanities and sciences make for deeper learning experiences and simultaneously shape our community,” said Mary Lou Aleskie, director of the Hopkins Center for the Arts, in a press release.

This summer, the partners will present free, public panel discussions on ballet, activism and Hazel Scott’s legacy. Company members will also teach virtual master classes open to the public. Learn more at the Hop@Home section of the Hopkins Center website.

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