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Like the Lark, Ascending

Dance Theatre of Harlem
Anthony Savoy and Francis Lawrence in George Balanchine’s “Agon” Photo: Christopher Duggan

In a recent interview, Dance Theatre of Harlem artistic director Virginia Johnson said that when she held auditions for the company, newly restarted this year after a nine-year hiatus, very few African-American dancers showed up. Even in 2013, after DTH’s 40-plus year history of training young dancers of color for ballet, there are very few dancing in principal roles in major companies. So she turned to the DTH school, which never stopped operating, and its junior troupe. She was then faced with shaping a mostly young and inexperienced group of dancers into a top international company.

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