Home #Hwoodtimes A CELEBRATION OF AFRICAN AMERICAN BALLET

A CELEBRATION OF AFRICAN AMERICAN BALLET

AND DEFINITIVE HISTORY OF ONE OF
THE MOST INFLUENTIAL AND REVOLUTIONARY
DANCE COMPANIES
IN MODERN HISTORY…
DANCE THEATRE OF HARLEM:
A HISTORY, A CELEBRATION, A MOVEMENT
By JUDY TYRUS AND PAUL NOVOSEL
In 1969, at the height of the Civil Rights movement, Arthur Mitchell and Karel Shook founded Dance Theatre of Harlem as a haven for dancers of all cultures. Over the past five decades, the company has traveled the world creating timeless works that challenge traditional ballet head-on while examining ongoing issues of power, beauty, myth, and the ever-changing definition of art itself. Their groundbreaking, democratic vision for dance has fueled DTH’s growth into one of the most influential and revolutionary American ballet companies in modern history.
Now, for the first time, the essential history of this vital institution is brought to life in DANCE THEATRE OF HARLEM: A HISTORY, A CELEBRATION, A MOVEMENT by longtime members Judy Tyrus and Paul Novosel (Hardcover / 978-1-4967-3360-3 / October 26, 2021). With hundreds of sensational photographs, first-hand accounts, archival materials, and well-researched narrative, this stunning visual book traces the company from its origins in a Harlem basement to its activism and innovations in virtual performances throughout 2020 and the global pandemic. It’s a celebration of the performances, community engagement, and arts education through which the company continues to carry forward the Dance Theatre of Harlem’s message of empowerment through the arts for all.
From music, to art, performance, film, fashion, and the written word, without African American culture, there is no “American” culture. While other books have been written about the importance and influence of the Black community in pop culture institutions, DANCE THEATRE OF HARLEM looks at the African American history of ballet. It places Dance Theatre of Harlem in a historical context with the events happening in the wider world; from the civil rights movement that directly preceded the founding to the company’s groundbreaking and sometimes dangerous tours to apartheid South Africa, the Soviet Union, and China. It also tackles the segregation and racism that have troubled the company’s–and country’s–history, as well the social and political impact it made simply by being Black ballet dancers.
The trailblazing nature of Dance Theatre of Harlem’s work and the visual history within DANCE THEATRE OF HARLEM: A HISTORY, A CELEBRATION, A MOVEMENT are key to today’s fundamentally crucial conversation about expanding diversity and inclusivity in the arts. This book is a tribute to the company’s vision – ballet is for everyone – as well as a remembrance of the contributions made by past and present DTH members and supporters, including Misty Copeland, Nelson Mandela, Stevie Wonder, Sidney Poitier, Geoffrey Holder, George Balanchine, Virginia Johnson, Donald Williams, Cicely Tyson and of course, Arthur Mitchelll and Karel Shook. Above all, DANCE THEATRE OF HARLEM: A HISTORY, A CELEBRATION, A MOVEMENT is a beautifully designed narrative that is accessible for everyone: bunheads, adults interested in the civil rights movement, techies, students, collectors looking for a perfect coffee-table book that is gorgeous and educational, musicians, artists, and those simply looking for inspiration.
About the Authors:
Judy Tyrus was a principal dancer with Dance Theatre of Harlem for twenty-two years. Since retiring from dance, she’s continued her work in the industry as an archivist, exhibition specialist, social media manager, photographer, and professor of dance. She currently works as a consultant for Dance Theatre of Harlem and is the co-founder of ChromaDiverse, Inc., a non-profit corporation which promotes cultural diversity in the performing arts. She resides in San Francisco, California.
Paul Novosel has had a forty-year career as a pianist, organist, playwright, and composer, performing as a keyboardist in major venues throughout the United States and Europe, including Carnegie Hall. He graduated summa cum laude as a music composition student of John Corigliano, was a dramatist student of Broadway’s William Hoffman, and received his MA in music from The University of Limerick, Ireland. He has served as assistant archivist and staff pianist at Dance Theatre of Harlem, and is the co-founder of ChromaDiverse, Inc. He lives in New York City.
DANCE THEATRE
OF HARLEM: A HISTORY, A CELEBRATION, A MOVEMENT
By Judy Tyrus and Paul Novosel
Dafina Books, an imprint of Kensington Publishing
On Sale: October 26, 2021 / Non-Fiction / Hardcover / $50.00 ($66.00 CAN) / 978-1-4967-3360-3
Full Color, Photos Throughout
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