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Famous as America s first culturally diverse neo-classical ballet company, Dance Theatre of Harlem (DTH) was founded in 1969 by African American Arthur Mitchell and the late Karel Shook. The company is now widely acclaimed as a major cultural institution encompassing a world-class ballet company, a school of dance, and a national and international arts education and community outreach programme. Dougla - Geoffrey Holder's 1974 exotic processional Dougla comes complete with his voluminous, eye-catching costumes and a percussive score accented by whistling flutes. A tribal wedding sets the tone for a steady stream of head-wagging ceremonial celebration. Return - In Return, premiered in 1999, former DTH principal dancer Robert Garland finds the boogie in ballet. Witty and sensationally entertaining, this suite of dances is cued to a clutch of recordings by soul masters James Brown and Aretha Franklin. Here street-smart attitude and the dynamics of black pop music meet classical cool to sizzling effect. Firebird - In a dense and mysterious forest a young man is hunting. He hears strange and ominous sound and then sees a fiery light that sweeps the air and suddenly turns into the glittering image of the Firebird. So as not to frighten her away, he runs to hide as the shining creature leaps onto the scene. The Young Man returns and, fascinated with this shimmering creature, part magical-bird and part-beautiful woman, he attempts to capture her. Terrified, she alternates between frozen immobility and the wild fluttering of escape. She pleads for her freedom and the Young Man releases her. In gratitude she dances for him and with him. Before she leaves, she takes a feather from her breast, indicates that it is a magical feather that will protect him from danger, and then leaps high into the air and disappears from view. In the gardens of the Prince of Evil, the Young Man comes upon a group of Beautiful Maidens, led by the Princess of Unreal Beauty. He watches their simple and joyous dances for a moment and then steps forth from hiding. The Beautiful Maidens are alarmed, particularly so when the young man tries to meet the Princess of Unreal Beauty. But the Princess of Unreal Beauty steps forward and they begin to dance. Suddenly darkness settles over the scene and with a crash of music, Creatures of Evil appear and attack. The Young Man starts to flee but remembers that the magic feather will protect him. He stands his ground against the Creatures of Evil and the wicked Prince of Evil who has joined them. There is a flash and the Firebird appears. With incredible swiftness she circles the stage leaving a wake of fire. The Firebird destroys the Prince of Evil and the Forest darkens. In a final, softly shining lullaby, she brings peace to the forest and then flutters out of view. In the final scene, courtiers, attendants and bearers of pennants celebrate the wedding of the Young Man and the Princess of Unreal Beauty. Dance Theatre of Harlem - Dougla/Return/Firebird website.


Producer: Dance Consortium
Choreographer(s): Geoffrey Holder (Dougla), Avind Harum (Dougla), Robert Garland (Return), John Taras (Firebird)
Costume(s): Zelda Wynn (Dougla), Pamela Allen Cummings (Return), Geoffrey Holder (Firebird)
Lighting(s): Paul Sullivan (Dougla), Roma Flowers (Return), Paul Sullivan (Firebird)
Music(s): James Brown (Return), Alfred Ellis (Return), Aretha Franklin (Return), Carolyn Franklin (Return), Igor Stravinsky (Firebird)

Dance Theatre of Harlem - Dougla/Return/Firebird

Dance Theatre of Harlem - Dougla/Return/Firebird (Dance or ballet) production archive for QTIX code T01036234974. Details of all Dance Theatre of Harlem - Dougla/Return/Firebird archived productions can be found under the QTIX code: S686022530

Archive Listings

14 May 04
15 May 04
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Birmingham, West Midlands
Performance Details => Venue archive
11 May 04
12 May 04
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4 May 04
5 May 04
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22 Apr 04
24 Apr 04
Grand Opera House
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15 Apr 04
17 Apr 04
Theatre Royal Plymouth
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Performance Details => Venue archive


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