Main content

The black ballet pioneers

The Dance Theatre of Harlem was the first classical ballet company to focus on black dancers. It was founded by Arthur Mitchell in a converted garage in Harlem in 1969. Virginia Johnson was one of the first dancers to join the company and is now its artistic director.

(Photo: Virginia Johnson in the Dance Theatre of Harlem's first performance at the Guggenheim Museum in New York, 1971. Credit: Dance Theatre of Harlem)

Release date:


4 minutes