Dance Theatre of Harlem Headlines NJPAC's Martin Luther King Celebration Today

Experience the poetry-in-motion of the legendary Dance Theatre of Harlem, as they headline NJPAC's Martin Luther King celebration today, January 17th in Prudential Hall. The renowned ballet company was co-founded in 1969 by Arthur Mitchell and the late Karel Shook as a positive and uplifting way to turn despair into hope following the assassination of Dr. King. Mitchell was the first African-American principal dancer at the New York City Ballet, and Karel Shook, had been the first teacher and ballet master of the Dutch National Ballet. Mitchell began by founding a dance school and later a company that would bring new opportunity to the lives of young people in the Harlem neighborhood in which he grew up.

Tickets are $27-$79 and are available online at by phone at 1-888-GO-NJPAC (1-888-466-5722), or in person at NJPAC Box Office, One Center Street in downtown Newark.

The 44 year-old Dance Company will be performing works including Gloria (choreography by Robert Garland, music by Francis Poulenc): This tribute to Harlem's spiritual heritage was called "affectingly beautiful" by The New Yorker. Agon (choreography by George Balanchine, music by Igor Stravinsky): one of the defining ballets of neo-classicism and past-carry-forward (choreography by Tanya Wideman David and Thaddeus Davis, music by Willie "The Lion" Smith and Slippage): a ballet that honors the persistence of the Harlem Renaissance.

Rounding out NJPAC's celebration of DR. Martin Luther King's on Saturday January 18, 2014 from 10 AM to 12 noon, the NJPAC Center for Arts Education (24 Rector Street, Newark) will feature a free community event for children and their families. "Embodying the Dream: A Celebration of the Life and Message of DR. Martin Luther King, Jr." will consist of a series of performing arts workshops that support and demonstrate the essence of Dr. King's "Dream" through interactive arts experiences. Activities are for all ages and will include a "Civil Rights Sing-In"; a master class with Dance Theatre of Harlem; "Dancing the Dream," a liturgical dance workshop; and "Let the Message Move You," a drumming workshop; and interactive storytelling.

More On: Arthur Mitchell, Dance Company, Robert Garland, Francis Poulenc, George Balanchine, Igor Stravinsky, R. Martin,

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by Barnett Serchuk