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Legendary Dance Theatre of Harlem ensemble to perform Jan. 15
Jan. 12, 2012



FLORENCE, Ala. – Since the Dance Theatre of Harlem’s creation in 1969, the celebrated dance ensemble has presented ballet groups composed of racially diverse dancers, as well as provided artistic education and community outreach programs for all. The University of North Alabama will get a taste of what the ensemble has to offer Jan. 15 at 2 p.m. in Norton Auditorium in conjunction with the Distinguished Events Series.

The ensemble will perform for UNA students, faculty, staff and community members during its 2012-2013 season. Based out of New York, the ensemble’s performance will be presented during the university’s birthday celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Will McAlister, coordinator with the UNA Distinguished Events Series, said the performance to take place Jan. 15 would normally run $75 per ticket at most venues, but it is free to all attendees at UNA. A free master class, which will include athletic, ballet and step dance styles, will also take place at 5 p.m. after the performance in Norton.

“The interactive performance and free master class give everyone an opportunity to see what it is really like to train to do something at the very highest level of execution,” he said. “This is something that all of us can take with us and apply to the endeavors in our own lives, regardless of whether we're into ballet or not.”

The ensemble has performed in Beijing, China, Athens, Greece before the 2004 Summer Olympic Games, and for Nelson Mandela in South Africa, according to McAlister. This will be the local area's first taste of what the Dance Theatre of Harlem has to offer nationally and globally.

When Arthur Mitchell and Karel Shook first assembled the Dance Theatre of Harlem, the group came together during a time when African American dancers were banned from performing in ballet companies across the United States because of their skin color. The group existed to shatter barriers between races and inspire human beings across the world.

The UNA Distinguished Events Series was first developed in 2005 to help expose the UNA and local communities to various sources of artistic expression and culture. For more information about the event, contact McAlister at wmcalister@una.edu or 256-765-4208.