Dance Theatre of Harlem
Cobb Energy Performing Arts Center
Great thanks must go out to our Atlanta Ballet for helping to bring the Dance Theatre of Harlem back for some spectacular perfomanances here. Sad to say that the dancer who started the company, Arthur Mitchell, passed away just last month, after a career of more than 50 years in ballet. And this is a celebration of his work, as well as of the 50th year for the Dance Theatre of Harlem.
Virginia Johnson directs with a dance company of 17 who worked through some exciting numbers on Saturday evening and again at their Sunday matinee. On Saturday they opened with the ballet New Bach, which is danced to Bach’s violin concerto in A minor. The whole company takes part in the three movements. After a short break they presented Gustav Mahler’s Adagietto No. 5 featuring Yinet Fernandez, Anthony V. Spaulding, II, and Anthony Santos in a captivating number for the trio of dancers.
A different type of number then came on the stage as Change, which had it’s world premier just two years ago. It is three women who are determined to help change the way things were and/or are. Amanda Smith, Daphne Lee and Ingrid Silva dance to the music; and upstage the Spelman College Glee Club of more than 30 members sings some traditional music that further enhances the performance and the social issues therein.
The final number, Vessels, was premiered just 4 years ago and takes one through what may be a circle of life in the four movements of Light, Belief, Love and Abundance. The first three movements feature fewer than 6 dancers, while the final movement brings the entire company to stage.
Alas, the engagement here was a short one; but truly excited and pleased every person in the audience. If you see them coming back in the future, this is one you will not want to miss. More info at DanceTheatreOfHarlem.org