Legendary Dance Theatre of Harlem to perform passionate contemporary love story
April 21, 2014
The legendary multi-cultural American dance company Dance Theatre of Harlem will perform its new one-act ballet, “Far but Close,” along with other repertoire on Wednesday May 7, at 8 p.m. The performance is presented by the Center for the Arts at Virginia Tech.
The event will be held in the Anne and Ellen Fife Theatre, located within the Moss Arts Center’s Street and Davis Performance Hall at 190 Alumni Mall.
Developed specifically for the revived Dance Theatre of Harlem, “Far but Close” is a new way of looking at how the language of ballet can be used to tell a story. Playwright and spoken word artist Daniel Beaty created the frame with a powerful tale that explores the healing power of romantic love.
John Alleyne’s choreography reveals the people inside the story, defining character and relationship as bodies move through space. Propelling the story forward is the soulful rhythm of Daniel Bernard Roumain’s music. This contemporary love story takes audience members on a journey filled with passion and ultimately understanding.
The company will also perform “Gloria,” a tribute to Harlem’s rich cultural legacy; a piece that explores how the concept of time changes through the wondrous periods of love titled “When Love;” and “Return,” which blends the elegance of classical ballet with the gritty drive of soul music, including songs by Aretha Franklin and James Brown.
Along with main stage performances across the U.S. and abroad, the Dance Theatre of Harlem offers a range of educational and arts engagement activities. In coordination with the Center for the Arts, the company will lead a master class with 35 students from the Center of Dance in Blacksburg. The dance studio was founded by Carol Crawford Smith, who also serves as artistic director. Smith is a professional dance performer, instructor, and educator, who served as a dance artist and soloist with Dance Theatre of Harlem from 1978 to 1988.
Founded in 1969 by Arthur Mitchell and Karel Shook as an affirmation of the power of art to transform, the Dance Theatre of Harlem Company, which was composed at that time of African-American artists barred from U.S. ballet companies because of the color of their skin, became an expression of human excellence that broke down barriers and inspired millions.
Now under the leadership of artistic director and former prima ballerina Virginia Johnson and executive director Laveen Naidu, the company is streamlined for the 21st-century international touring environment, providing opportunities for creative expression and artistic excellence in the performing arts.
Tickets are $20-$30 for general public and $10 for students and youth 18 years old and under. Tickets can be purchased online; at the Moss Arts Center's box office, noon to 6 p.m. on Monday through Friday and noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday; or by calling 540-231-5300.
Parking is available in the North End Parking Garage on Turner Street. Virginia Tech faculty and staff possessing a valid Virginia Tech parking permit can enter and exit the garage free of charge. Event parking for visitors is $5. Event passes may be purchased in advance through the Center for the Arts box office or when entering the garage on event evenings. Limited street parking is also available. Parking on Alumni Mall is free on weekdays after 5 p.m. and on weekends.