Dance Theatre of Harlem: 40 Years of Firsts

December 20, 2014 - March 15, 2015

Highlighting Dance Theatre of Harlem's 40-plus year history, this magnificent exhibition celebrates the history and art of dance with 25 costumes and accessories, set pieces, documentary video excerpts, historical photographs and tour posters; and includes four dramatically-staged ballets that are iconic to the company: A Streetcar Named Desire, Creole Giselle, Dougla and Firebird. Dispelling the belief that ballet could not be performed by those of African descent, Arthur Mitchell and Karel Shook founded the Dance Theatre of Harlem in 1969. It has since grown into a multi-cultural dance institution. 

In the last 39 years, the professional touring company of Dance Theatre of Harlem has performed in 41 states, 202 cities in North America, and in 40 countries on 6 continents. Dance Theatre of Harlem: 40 Years of Firsts opens at the University Museum at Texas Southern University on January 25, 2013.

View more about the Dance Theatre of Harlem 

Dance Theatre of Harlem is organized by Dance Theatre of Harlem, California African American Museum, and the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, and toured by International Arts & Artists, Washington, DC. 

Funding for this exhibition is provided by the Ian and Mimi Rolland Family Foundation.

Please note: This is a ticketed Special Exhibition. Tickets to see this exhibit at $5 per person are required beyond general admission. Members receive free admission and special exhibition tickets for all FWMoA shows. Click here to join. 


January 23, 6-9pm: Winter Party
Celebrate Dance Theatre of Harlem with a night of art, music, food, and friends! Edibles by Catablu and live music by Alicia Pyle Quartet. $12 Guests / $5 Members. Sponsored by Galecki Financial Management.

February 5, 12:15pm: Curator's Tour
President & CEO and Chief Curator Charles Shepard will lead a gallery talk of DTH. From his specialized and personal point of view, Shepard offers a unique perspective as the visionary for all FWMoA exhibitions. Free with gallery admission.

March 14, 12-5pm: The Art of Hair
In collaboration with Green Hair Revolution, this event is a day to celebrate natural beauty with workshops and demonstrations all on the subject of hair style and care. $15 per person. Tickets will go on sale in February 2015.

March 19, 6:30pm: Performance by the Dayton Contemporary Dance Company
Continue the celebration of this exhibit with the opening reception for the Dayton Contemporary Dance Company's residency with the Fort Wayne Dance Collective March 19-21. Meet the dancers who will perform a brief excerpt of their repertoire. Rooted in the African-American experience, the DCDC is known for exceptional performance and arts-integrated education. This performance is made possible by the Fort Wayne Dance Collective and will be held at FWMoA. Enjoy hors d'oeuvres and a cash bar. $10 per person.

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