Review: Dance Theatre of Harlem

by Justine Love, Contributing Writer
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The Dance Theatre of Harlem. (Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images)

The Dance Theatre of Harlem. (Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images)

The curtain rises and the stage is filled with vibrant colors of turquoises, moss green and one small spec of baby blues — and then right before your eyes are words in flight through dance.

I could only be talking about the new season, rebirth and choreography of the Dance Theatre of Harlem, created under the vision of Arthur Mitchell and now celebrating its 44th year. Mitchell, the first African-American principal dancer of the New York City Ballet, was inspired to start a school that would offer children -– particularly from Harlem –- the opportunity to learn about dance and the allied arts.

Opening night at the Sidney Harmon Hall was designed and will engage you in the wonderment of dance through the artistic direction of Virginia Johnson.

Johnson, a product of the Metropolitan area and a founding member of the Dance Theatre of Harlem, got her start here under the tutelage of Therrell Smith, who will celebrate 65 years of teaching dance to youth in the D.C. area.

The fresh new toes of the Dance Theatre of Harlem have a cadre of talented young women and men from all over the world. Three of them hail from Annapolis, Md., Salisbury, Md., and Washington, D.C.

I was enthralled with each piece, but I could hardly contain myself with the piece “Contested Space”.

If you missed the Dance Theatre of Harlem’s 2013 run in D.C., please be on the look out for it to return!


Justine Love is the director of Community and Public Affairs for CBS Washington, including WPGC. Check back for more Reel Talk reviews.
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