|Graceful, hip and on pointe|
Guardian Lifestyles Editor
Published: Jun 29, 2012
You were visually stunned. You were entertained and left feeling inspired.
You left feeling satisfied, but definitely wanting more — wanting to see the Dance Theatre of Harlem Ensemble (DTHE), a classical, neo-classical and innovative contemporary ballet that is presented with freshness and vitality, take to the stage once again.
The Nassau Chapter of The Links Incorporated event was a resounding success. People came expecting an evening of dance theater and got an eclectic company that filters everything they do through the prism of their training as classical ballet dancers.
It was a show that was varied in the styles of each dance and also in the musical choices that each piece was choreographed to. During the course of the evening, at the Atlantis Theatre, you went from Johann Sebastian Bach to James Brown and Aretha Franklin.
The performance was classic Dance Theater of Harlem, with pieces that have been a part of the company’s repertoire for many years, along with ballets that were created on the dancers, and a number that premiered as late as last year, according to DTHE’s director, Keith Saunders.
James Brown and Aretha Franklin have been a part of their repertoire since 1999 and was choreographed for the ensemble’s 30th anniversary. They are now 43 years old. Their “New Bach” performance dates back to 2001.
The first ballet of the night, “Six Piano Pieces” (Harlem Style) was commissioned in 2010 and choreographed on the dancers in the ensemble, as was “Episode,” the second performance.
“In The Mirror of Her Mind” just premiered in 2011 and was made on the dancers, so it was an eclectic mix.
“So people may have come for the Bach and been captivated by the James Brown or by the Goreski concerto, ‘In the Mirror of Her Mind’,” Saunders said.
DTHE is the second company of the Dance Theatre of Harlem, the world-renowned ballet company of African American and other racially diverse artists, located in New York City’s Harlem community.
The performance closed out the company’s Caribbean tour that took them to St. Thomas, USVI and Jamaica.