BWW Reviews: Dance Theatre of Harlem at NJ PAC; Performance Excellence Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King
"Almost always the creative and dedicated minority has made the world better." Dr. Martin Luther King.
Dance Theatre of Harlem was featured in the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration that was held at New Jersey Performing Arts Center on Friday, January 17th. The audience was at full capacity in NJ PAC's Prudential Hall. The program was made possible through the generosity of the PSE&G Foundation.
Dance Theatre of Harlem was founded by Arthur Mitchell and is currently under the artistic direction of Virginia Johnson. Their performance was captivating and honored Dr. King who advocated for racial equality throughout his lifetime. Virginia Johnson pointed out in her opening remarks that Dance Theatre of Harlem has given dancers from minority backgrounds the important opportunity to access and become successful in the area of classical dance.
NJ PAC has distinguished itself as a cultural center in Newark, New Jersey presenting the best the arts have to offer and education programs that address a broad community. The program was introduced by the center's President and CEO John Schreiber. Revered Dr. DeForest B. Soaries was one of the notable guests who spoke before the start of the dance performance.
Dance Theatre of Harlem opened with Gloria danced by the full company along with an appearance of young special guest dancers from New York metropolitan area dance programs. Dance Theatre of Harlem does not need elaborate costuming or background to enchant their audience. The elegant choreography by George Balanchine combined with the passion and precision of the dancers made each moment of Gloria a delight for the audience. The opening number set the stage for an evening of extraordinary dance performances.