Over the course of 40 years, Dance Theatre of Harlem has surpassed its modest beginnings (its first classes were held in a warehouse on 152nd Street), survived a nine-year hiatus, 2004–13, and convinced its detractors that the first black classical ballet company could achieve long-term success. Co-founded by Arthur Mitchell and Karel Shook, former ballet master of the Dutch National Ballet, DTH is celebrating its history and legacy with a traveling art exhibit, Dance Theatre of Harlem: 40 Years of Firsts.
The exhibit (25 costumes from four ballets, 160 photographs and video excerpts) at the National Museum of Dance in Saratoga Springs, New York, closes on September 9. Next up: Fort Wayne Museum of Art in Indiana, December 20 to March 2015.
Photo by Hank Henley, courtesy of International Arts & Artists