BDBB: The Black Dance and Broadway Blog

Covering black professionals and professional productions in the dance and theater worlds, plus general arts news

The Arthur Mitchell exhibit at Columbia University: a must-see for fans, scholars

Arthur Mitchell

 

The eagerly anticipated exhibit of dance pioneer Arthur Mitchell’s comprehensive archives is now on display at Columbia University’s Wallach Art Gallery giving fans and scholars alike an important window into the considerable career of one of the most important figures in dance history of the 20th century.

Arthur Mitchell now

The exhibit, “Arthur Mitchell: Harlem’s Ballet Trailblazer,” is open to the public through March 11. Mitchell’s archives will be permanently housed at Columbia after the exhibit and available to scholars for further study.

 

Arthur Mitchell’s career is filled with firsts. Many are familiar with him as the founder of the internationally renowned Dance Theatre of Harlem school and company. Dance fans also revere him as a principal dancer with the New York City Ballet – the first black principal dancer with a major ballet company – where his notable roles included originating the main pas de deux in “Agon.”

Arthur Mitchell with George Balanchine

The exhibit covers all of this as well as his other work, for example, on Broadway in shows like “House of Flowers.”

This video gives a wonderful overview of the exhibit:

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