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CERRITOS - Returning to California for the first time since 2004, the Dance Theatre of Harlem is set to grace the Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts stage on Nov. 8.
Founding in 1969 by Arthur Mitchell and Karel Shook after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the Dance Theatre of Harlem is known for its electric and demanding ballet repertoire, which the Fresno Bee has called "breathtaking [and] tremendous."
Inspired by the optimism and idealism of the Civil Rights Era, Mitchell focused on starting a dance school that would offer children - especially those in Harlem, where he was born - ample opportunities to learn about dance and the allied arts.
The New York Times called the company's formation "one of ballet's most exciting undertakings."
By 1979, the Dance Theatre of Harlem boasted three successful Broadway seasons and a successful international tour. It received critical acclaim for the television special "Great Performances - Dance in America."
The group garnered rave reviews for performances of Firebird, Creole Giselle, Scheherazade, Bugaku, Agon and Dougla.
Now in its fourth decade, the ensemble has grown into a multicultural dance institution with a legacy for promoting creative expression and artistic excellence.
Committed to its mission to uplift and inspire through art, the company has introduced innovative and bold new forms of artistic expression to audiences in New York City, across the country and worldwide. It has performed around the globe, including Europe, China, Russia and South Africa.
The Dance Theatre of Harlem was honored at the White House in 2006, and Mitchell was awarded a United States Medal of the Arts.
Tickets to see the Dance Theatre of Harlem in Cerritos range from $50 to $80 and can be purchased online at cerritoscenter.com or by calling (562) 467-8818.
Published: Oct. 3, 2013 - Volume 12 - Issue 25