Thanks to our friends at the New Orleans Ballet Association, we were able to host a special lecture/performance of the Dance Theater of Harlem. The performed at several venues that weekend, but we were excited to host this special session which was very informative.
The theater was formed in February of 1969, inspired after the death of Martin Luther King Jr. in 1968. Arthur Mitchell founded it to be unapologetically ethnic. Like many HBCU, it started in a church basement. And like HBCUs, have struggled some, closing for a while before reopening in 2012. We learned a great deal from Virginia Johnson, the artistic director, and Robert Garland, the resident choreographer.
Not only was the dancing great, but the history was inspiring. We have to support our institutions.