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Dance Theatre of Harlem is UW’s Eminent Artists-in-Residence

September 14, 2017
male and female dancers
Anthony Javier Savoy and Lindsey Croop are among Dance Theatre of Harlem artists. The famed company is this semester’s Eminent Artists-in-Residence at UW. (Rachel Neville Photo)

Famed Dance Theatre of Harlem, a leading dance institution of unparalleled global acclaim, is the 2017-18 Eminent Artists-in-Residence, hosted by the University of Wyoming Department of Theatre and Dance. The residency is supported by UW’s Office of the President.

Dance Theatre of Harlem (DTH) encompasses a performing ensemble, a leading arts education center and Dancing Through Barriers, a national and international education and community outreach program.

The DTH Company will be at UW Sept. 17-30. Company members will teach, lead workshops and perform for students from grades K-12 through college age, and also for the public. All DTH company classes and rehearsals are open to the public. View the full schedule under the “Photos” section at www.facebook.com/wyomingtheatreanddance/.

Founded in 1969 by Arthur Mitchell and Karel Shook, DTH was considered “one of ballet’s most exciting undertakings” (The New York Times, 1971). Shortly after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., Mitchell was inspired to start a school that offered children -- especially those in Harlem, the community in which he was born -- the opportunity to learn about dance and the allied arts.

Now in its fourth decade, DTH has grown into a multicultural dance institution with an extraordinary legacy of providing opportunities for creative expression and artistic excellence that continues to set standards in the performing arts.

The program, now underway at UW, begins with a visit from DTH teaching artist and former principal dancer Charmaine Hunter.

“Currently, in the first full week of the Dance Theatre of Harlem residency this semester, I am aware of the incredible learning experience this sort of opportunity provides for our students,” says Marsha Knight, UW dance faculty member and residency coordinator.

The DTH Company will present a public Gala Concert Friday, Sept. 29, at 7:30 p.m. in the UW College of Arts and Sciences auditorium, produced by UW Presents. The DTH Gala Concert also is supported, in part, by grants from WESTAF and the Wyoming Arts Council.

Tickets cost $20 for the public, $17 for UW faculty/staff and seniors, and $10 for students. UW students are eligible to purchase two tickets for the price of one (two tickets for $10, plus a 50-cent fee, or $10.50 total). Tickets are available at the Buchanan Center for the Performing Arts box office and the Wyoming Union information desk, by calling (307) 766-6666 or going online at www.uwyo.edu/finearts.

The DTH Gala Concert will feature a world-premiere work, “Harlem on My Mind,” a dance tribute to Harlem and its nexus of cultures, rhythms and musical styles.

Each time this work is performed, whether by DTH or any other company around the world, it will include this credit notation: “‘Harlem on My Mind’ received its World Premiere by Dance Theatre of Harlem on Friday, Sept. 29, 2017, at the University of Wyoming. The work was commissioned by the UW Office of the President in support of the Eminent Artist-in-Residence program.”

After leaving UW, the DTH Company will tour, performing in Sheridan and Billings, Mont. The company will then embark on an extensive Eastern European tour.

“Dance Theatre of Harlem, in mission and practice, has a deep history of outreach and extension from the community of Harlem to the world, and this inspires our efforts and engagement with the Laramie community and region,” Knight says.

Other outreach programs scheduled at UW are:

-- Friday, Sept. 22, 1-2 p.m., invited Albany County School District No. 1 all-elementary school lecture/demonstration, UW College of Arts and Sciences auditorium.

-- Friday, Sept. 22, 3:30-4:30 p.m., “Dancing in the Streets,” an informal and celebratory dance jam session, open to the public, Simpson Plaza.

-- Friday, Sept. 22, 5-6 p.m., “Meet the Dancers,” question-and-answer session with DTH, open to the public, Performing Arts Crane Studio.

-- Dec. 1-2, 7:30 p.m., Dec. 3, 4 p.m., “Fall For Dance,” a full-length dance concert featuring UW students in DTH works, Performing Arts main stage.

Hunter and another DTH former principal dancer, Tai Jimenez, will serve as teaching artists throughout the fall semester with UW students, and also will lead 45 workshops/lectures in the Department of Theatre and Dance, and African American and Diaspora Studies. Two classes also have been held to date at Laramie High School and one at Whiting High School.

Previous UW Eminent Artist residencies have been supported by the Excellence in Higher Education Endowment through the Wyoming Legislature, awarded in 2008 to UW’s three fine and performing arts departments on a rotating basis.


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