Godfrey, Ill. – The Dance Theatre of Harlem Ensemble is coming to Lewis and Clark Community College on Oct. 25 for a lecture and performances celebrating cultural diversity in the arts.
The Ensemble will put on a dance and demonstration for area school children from 11 a.m.-noon at Hatheway Cultural Center on the college’s Godfrey campus.

A full length performance, which will combine selections from the Dance Theatre of Harlem’s hallmark ballets, will take place from 7-8:30 p.m. The evening event is free and open to the public, and doors will open at 6 p.m. (No admittance after 7 p.m. No flash photography allowed.)
“Two years ago the members of the college's Diversity Council began talking with the Dance Theatre of Harlem. Recognizing that dance is one of the most exciting art forms, but one of the least accessible to American audiences, the council was eager to host a dance program. Arguably the oldest form of artistic expression, dance is probably best known in its edgy contemporary forms,” said Linda Chapman, vice president for Academic Affairs at L&C.

The Dance Theatre of Harlem was founded in 1969 by Arthur Mitchell, an African-American ballet dancer, and ballet master and teacher Karel Shook. From its beginnings – classes taught in a garage on 152nd Street in Harlem, the New York City community where Mitchell grew up – the Dance Theatre of Harlem has grown over the years to become the leading dance institution of unparalleled global acclaim that it is today. Leading artists such as Robert Garland, Alonzo King, Donald Byrd and Vincent Mantsoe are all Dance Theatre of Harlem alumni.

The institution currently comprises the Dance Theatre of Harlem School, a leading arts education center; Dancing Through Barriers, a national education and community outreach program, and the Dance Theatre of Harlem Ensemble, a national touring company.

The Dance Theatre of Harlem Ensemble was established in 2004 from leading participants in the Dance Theatre of Harlem School’s Professional Training Program, and began touring nationally under a “Dance for America” banner in 2009.

For the 2011-2012 season, the Ensemble comprises 12 dancers and one pianist, presenting full length performances (mixed repertoire) and a range of interactive/educational presentations.
“The Diversity Council and the College Foundation Board are excited to host the Dance Theatre of Harlem, one of the best known, most vibrant contemporary dance companies in America,” Chapman said. “Dance is an ephemeral art form and lives in the human form in the moment. We are happy to connect our students and our community with dance performed by the venerable Harlem Dance company.”

Learn more about the Dance Theatre of Harlem at www.dancetheatreofharlem.org/.

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