Be among the first in the world to see a new ballet performed by the history-making dance company Dance Theatre of Harlem as part of its performance at the Moss Arts Center on Sept. 13 at 7:30 p.m.

The performance will be held in the center’s Anne and Ellen Fife Theatre, located within the Street and Davis Performance Hall at 190 Alumni Mall.

Marking the opening of the Moss Arts Center’s 2019-20 performance season, Dance Theatre of Harlem returns to the center with an evening program celebrating its 50th anniversary. The performance will feature the George Balanchine ballet “Valse Fantaisie,” Christopher Wheeldon’s “This Bitter Earth,” the 2018 ballet “Balamouk,” and the new work “Passage.”

“Passage” was commissioned by the Virginia Arts Festival in partnership with American Evolution, which recognizes the 400th anniversary of a series of pivotal events in Virginia that continue to define the nation, including the first documented arrival of enslaved Africans and the recruitment of English women to the colony. The ballet reflects, in abstract, the fortitude of the human spirit and an enduring will to prevail.

The new ballet's world premiere performances in Norfolk; Washington, D.C.; and Blacksburg are signature events of American Evolution. The program was created by Claudia Schreier, an award-winning young choreographer who has drawn attention and commissions for new work from American Ballet Theatre, the Vail Dance Festival, and more. Created for 12 dancers and performed in three parts, “Passage” is set to a new score composed by Jessie Montgomery.

Now a singular presence in the ballet world, Dance Theatre of Harlem tours nationally and internationally, presenting a powerful vision for ballet in the 21st century. The 17-member, multi-ethnic company performs a forward-thinking repertoire that includes treasured classics and neoclassical works, as well as innovative contemporary works that use the language of ballet to celebrate African American culture. Through performances, community engagement, and arts education, the company carries forward Dance Theatre of Harlem’s message of empowerment through the arts for all.

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During their visit, members of Dance Theatre of Harlem will conduct a ballet master class with students majoring in dance at Radford University and lead a free lecture and performance for area teachers and students in seventh through 12th grades. “The Art and Science of Ballet” will blend demonstration of ballet techniques, audience participation, and performance of excerpts from Dance Theatre of Harlem’s repertoire.


Tickets are $25-$55 for general audience and $10 for students and youth 18 and under. Tickets can be purchased online; at the Moss Arts Center's box office, 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday; or by calling 540-231-5300 during box office hours.

While Virginia Tech students can always attend any Moss Arts Center performance for only $10, the center also offers free last-minute rush tickets for students who sign up for text notifications. To receive these notifications, text “arts” to 31996. Availability of rush tickets varies by performance and tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis while supplies last in the box office. Virginia Tech ID will be required for admission.


This performance is supported in part by gifts from the Merryman family and, in celebration of Carol Crawford Smith, gifts from Ann Goette and Connie and Mark Froggatt.

This program was made possible in part by the 2019 Commemoration, American Evolution, which recognizes the 400th anniversary of pivotal 1619 Virginia events. Through partnership with notable institutions across the Commonwealth of Virginia, the commemoration features programs, events, and legacy projects that position Virginia as a leader in education, tourism, and economic development through the themes of democracy, diversity, and opportunity.

The Virginia Tech Carilion Partnership is a proud sponsor of the 2019 Commemoration, American Evolution, and a presenting partner for this program. Together, Virginia Tech and Carilion Clinic provide leadership in medical education and biomedical and clinical research.

This program was made possible in part by the New England Foundation for the Arts’ National Dance Project, with lead funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, with additional support from the National Endowment for the Arts.

The Art and Science of Ballet for school audiences was made possible in part by the Elizabeth McIntosh Mitchell Trauger Excellence Fund.


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. Limited street parking is also available. Parking on Alumni Mall is free on weekdays after 5 p.m. and on weekends.

If you are an individual with a disability and desire an accommodation, please contact Kacy McAllister at 540-231-5300 or email during regular business hours at least 10 business days prior to an event.