“One of ballet’s most exciting undertakings.”
– The New York Times, 1971 Dance Theatre of Harlem: 40 Years of Firsts
Highlighting Dance Theatre of Harlem’s 40-plus year history, this magnificent exhibition celebrates the history and art of dance with 22 costumes, set pieces, videos, photographs and tour posters from four staged ballets including: A Streetcar Named Desire, Creole Giselle, Dougla and Firebird. Dispelling the belief that ballet could not be performed by those of African decent, Arthur Mitchell and Karel Shook founded the Dance Theatre of Harlem in 1969. This multi-media exhibition captures the majesty of the choreography, the beauty of the costuming, and the dancers who defied gravity and stereotyping. With a modest beginning, holding classes in a warehouse on 152nd Street, the school has greatly expanded and since grown into a multi-cultural dance institution.
The exhibition comes with customized costume forms and backdrops for the four staged ballets. Banners are long and can be mounted to a wall, or will require tall ceilings to hang in open air space.
May 2013 – December 2015
“Reflections presents the lives, traditions, and environments of African Americans from the 20th century to the present…It allows viewers to connect the strong tradition of storytelling by African Americans, with the sense of place that is largely unique to Southerners.”
A dialogue between artist and identity is represented through the more than 50 works selected from the collection of costume designer and arts patron, Myrna Colley-Lee. Reflections focuses largely on the figurative and representational, presenting pieces by such noted artists as Romare Bearden, James Van Der Zee, Elizabeth Catlett, Eudora Welty, and Betye Saar. Myrna Colley-Lee is credited as one of the foremost costume designers in the Black Theatre movement. Her collection juxtaposes works by leading artists with that of lesser known, offering a wide view of African American life and culture from the 20th century to the present.
Following its February 2013 debut at the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, Michigan, Reflections will travel to Alexandria Museum of Art, Louisiana; Lauren Rogers Museum of Art, Laurel, Mississippi; and the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, Alabama.
June 2013 – November 2013
March 2014 – August 2014
April 2015 – December 2015
“In capturing the spiritual and emotional essence of this journey that is an essential part of my own history, I felt a strong sense of connection, and a bond with lives just a few generations removed.”
– Joseph Holston
The stories of the Underground Railroad are some of the most powerful in American history. Color in Freedom is an exhibition of 49 paintings, etchings and drawings by Joseph Holston created to capture the essence of the courage and determination required to escape bondage in pursuit of independence; and to enhance understanding of the condition of slavery and the powerful instinct toward freedom.
Color in Freedom consists of four movements that track the flow of events in the lives of those who traveled along the Underground Railroad: The Unknown World, Living in Bondage-Life on the Plantation, The Journey of Escape, and finally, Color in Freedom.
April 2013 – mid-May 2013
August 2013 – September 2013
January 2014 – December 2014
9 Hillyer Court NW, Washington, DC 20008
202.338.0680 | artsandartists.org