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Dance Theatre of Harlem Announces 2020 Gala Featuring Alicia Keys and More

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The virtual celebration will take place on October 19th.

Dance Theatre of Harlem announced today its plans to embark on an ambitious project designed to continue its creation of new work, and details about this year's Vision Gala, WE ARE Dance Theatre of Harlem, set for October 19.

On October 19, the organization will present its 2020 Vision Gala: We Are Dance Theatre of Harlem, featuring new ballets by DTH Resident Choreographer Robert Garland and Amy Hall Garner; appearances by 15-time Grammy-winning music icon and New Yorker Alicia Keys, Princeton Professor, MSNBC Contributor, and author Imani Perry; and hosted by ABC News' Deborah Roberts.

Alicia Keys shared her smash hit "Underdog," from her new critically acclaimed album ALICIA, with some of the theatre's talented company members earlier this year. Using Keys' anthem, these incredible talents created a hopeful, artistic video, meant to inspire and shed light on these current times. The video will have its world premiere during the Gala. Professor Perry's award-winning book Breathe: A Letter to My Sons is the inspiration for a new work by Robert Garland, having its premiere at the Gala.

As it always has, the benefit will continue with a virtual dance party hosted by DJ Niara Sterling immediately following the event.

The evening will recognize the legacy of Dance Theatre of Harlem and its founders, while celebrating the company of today. As an organization that was borne in response to social unrest in the 1960s, the virtual gala will amplify the importance of ballet and social justice during a time when the lives of black and brown people in America continue to be threatened by racism and systemic inequities.

The Gala will honor Jeanine Liburd, BET Network's Chief Social Impact and Communications Officer, anda??Verdun S. Perry, Blackstone's Senior Managing Director and Global Head of Strategic Partners. In accordance with New York State's Covid-19 safety guidelines, the Vision Gala will be presented online. While the event is open to the public, to receive exclusive benefits, such as gift baskets, pre-Gala virtual cocktail reception, and more. Gifts of any size provide crucial support to Dance Theatre of Harlem's current operations and will help to ensure that New York City's dance future continues to be more inclusive and diverse than ever before. The benefit will also include an online auction on Charitybuzz, October 13-21 that will feature unique experiences by the legendary Dapper Dan and leading sommelier Andre Mack. For more information, please visit

Dance Theatre of Harlem "Bubble" Residency

Inspired by the "Bubble" model, developed and used by Tyler Perry and the NBA, Dance Theatre of Harlem will set up a Camp Quarantine residency at the Kaatsbaan Cultural Park in Tivoli, New York from October 11 - October 30, made possible by support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Alphadyne Foundation.

The 3-week residency at Kaatsbaan Cultural Park located in Tivoli, NY - a 153-acre residency site - provides a safe environment for the Company to work and temporarily reside. Created in collaboration with Dr. Wendy Ziecheck, this residency will include multiple layers of safety measures (condensed version outlined below) put into place to mitigate risk.

a-? 7 days before arrival at residency, company will undergo a PCR COVID-19 test and self-isolate at home for the remaining time before the date of departure.

a-? Day of departure to residency, company will undergo a rapid PCR test.

a-? Travel to/from Kaatsbaan will be provided via a private chartered bus from the rapid test site. The bus will be disinfected, and the driver will be rapid tested with the company.

a-? 10 days into the residency, the company will undergo testing.

a-? Each day of the residency, the company will be required to undergo a Health Survey Questionnaire and temperature check overseen by the onsite physical therapist traveling with the company.

a-? If at any point prior to departure or during the residency, a company member tests positive for COVID-19, that company member will not be permitted to participate in the residency and will be returned home.

a-? All members of the company will not be allowed to exit and re-enter the residency facility.

Camp Quarantine, the "bubble" model, was established to allow the company to participate in important projects including Artistic Director Virginia Johnson's long-desired initiative, Ballet Lab, focused on investing in the choreographic voices of dancers of color, especially DTH company members. The obstacle in launching this brave initiative in the past was finding the time amidst preparations for performances. With the company currently unable to tour, Dance Theatre of Harlem has time to focus on nurturing the voices of emerging choreographers.

Led by Resident Choreographer Robert Garland, Ms. Johnson envisions guest choreographers interacting with the DTH dancers virtually. The lab also includes selected company members participating in studies that are focused on developing their voices as choreographers. Selected choreographers thus far include Endalyn Taylor, former DTH principal dancer and current associate professor of dance at the University of Illinois, as well as Kyion Gaines-Ross, former soloist with Pacific Northwest Ballet and Director of Company Operations Pacific Northwest Ballet.

The residency will also include a live online rehearsal and artist conversation in collaboration with the University of Minnesota's Northrup Auditorium featuring Robert Garland's Higher Ground, a Northrop-co-commissioned work. Taking place on October 29, this live rehearsal, shared online, will include DTH repertoire rehearsed during the residency in addition to two sections of Higher Ground, set to socially conscious songs from Stevie Wonder's early 1970s recordings. Between sections of rehearsal, Robert Garland, Virginia Johnson, and company artists will discuss the ballet and their creative process, including Q&A with audience members.

This rehearsal is a "Pay What You Can" event with option ranging from free to $150, to ensure accessibility as well as financially support programming. The revenue will be equally shared between Dance Theatre of Harlem and Northrup Auditorium. For more information, please visit:

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