We had a very special learning opportunity for students coming to WUHSMS on November 9.  The Dance Theatre of Harlem presented a dynamic interdisciplinary program that integrated learning history with dance instruction.  This residency helped students understand major historical events as a platform to create social change by critically examining the socio-cultural past, present and future through dance. We experienced the African Diaspora, from the slave trade through the Emancipation Proclamation, Hip Hop and the Next Wave through movement. The Diaspora curriculum is inherently interdisciplinary as it combines a socio-historical exploration of migrations and change, specifically looking at the Great Migration, HarlemRenaissance, Civil Rights Movement, and Hip Hop era. We gained a kinesthetic understanding of these eras through responding to music, influential people, poetry, and artwork in their movements and dance making. We  also participated in “salons,” discussion groups that mirror the intellectual activities of Harlem Renaissance thinkers, where we gained exposure to and discuss prominent elements of each era. Big thanks to Pentangle Arts Council for their strong support of arts in our schools and fro facilitating this exciting experience!

 

About the Dance Theater of Harlem
Dance Theatre of Harlem is dedicated to reaching young people with powerful programs that provide tools that foster self-actualization, a holistic world view, and empowerment through active expression, creative literacy, social imagination, critical thinking and reflection. Dancing Through Barriers® comprehensive arts education programs offer a range of activities that include, in-class residencies, school-time performances, after school programs and interactive tours of the DTH facility. Founded in 1969 (shortly after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.) by Arthur Mitchell and Karel Shook. Mitchell was inspired to start a school that would offer children — especially those in Harlem, the community in which he was born — the opportunity to learn about dance and the allied arts. Now in its fourth decade, Dance Theatre of Harlem has grown into a multi-cultural dance institution with an extraordinary legacy of providing opportunities for creative expression and artistic excellence that continues to set standards in the performing arts.