"Virginia Johnson" tag
Dance Theatre of Harlem in Creole Giselle.© Dance Theatre of Harlem. (Click image for larger version)

Dance Theatre of Harlem – Creole Giselle – streamed archive recording of 1987 performance

★★★✰✰   Giselle was the first full-length classical ballet that Arthur Mitchell’s company of black American dancers would perform. He thought there would be no point in their pretending to be Rhineland peasants, so decided to set the 19th century ballet in pre-Civil War Louisiana.

Ashley Murphy and Dylan Santos in Nacho Duato's Coming Together.© Rachel Neville. (Click image for larger version)

Dance Theatre of Harlem – Divertimento, When Love, Change, Coming Together – New York

★★✰✰✰   It included several new works, two of them by women, part of a worthy new initiative, “Women Who Move Us.”

Davon Doane and Ashley Murphy in Dancing on the Front Porch of Heaven.© Rachel Neville. (Click image for larger version)

Dance Theatre of Harlem – 45th Anniversary Season at Lincoln Center – New York

The task Johnson faces is complicated, full of potential pit-falls. In these early seasons she is working to define the company’s character, while helping the dancers to hone their classical training and shine as individuals.

Susan Jones.© Sarah Sterner. (Click image for larger version)

Susan Jones – Ballet Mistress, American Ballet Theatre

My father asked my original teacher in Rockville, Ms. Hood, whether it was viable for me to become a dancer, and she said she thought I could, even though I wasn’t blessed with beautiful legs and feet. But I had a lot of other assets…

Virginia Johnson.© Rachel Neville. (Click image for larger version)

Virginia Johnson – Artistic Director, Dance Theatre of Harlem

Wherever Virginia Johnson goes, she seems to travel on a cloud, with a kind of regal composure few possess in our day. She appears imperturbable…

Dance Theatre of Harlem in Return.© Matthew Murphy. (Click image for larger version)

Dance Theatre of Harlem – April 2013 Revival bill – New York

Johnson has a challenge on her hands. So much potential and so much talent; but what is the mission?

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