Dance Theatre of Harlem School to Reopen After Six-Week Hiatus

Classic Arts News   Dance Theatre of Harlem School to Reopen After Six-Week Hiatus
 
The Dance Theatre of Harlem School will reopen on Saturday, December 4, after a six-week hiatus, New York mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and DTH founder and artistic director Arthur Mitchell announced yesterday.

Laveen Naidu, a former DTH dancer and the former director of the school, has been named the company's new executive director, and six new members have been elected to the company's board of directors.

Emergency fundraising efforts: led by Mitchell and Naidu, working closely with Michael Kaiser, president of the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.: have yielded over $1.6 million from government, foundation, corporate, and individual sources. The money will go toward re-opening the school, and, eventually, bringing back the company.

The dance company went on hiatus in September in order to pay down a $2.5 million deficit and reorganize its management; after DTH's insurance was cancelled a few weeks later, the company's highly regarded dance school had to close as well.

"The progress we have made over the past two months has been miraculous," Mitchell said in a statement.

DTH's new strategic plan, accepted by the board of directors last week, lays out a plan for both the school and the company. It includes reorganizing the staff and adding expanded educational and outreach programming, and provides for a cash reserve, money to fund new work, and an annual New York performance season.

Kaiser, who is credited with reversing the fortunes of such once-troubled companies as Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, American Ballet Theatre, and the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, will act as a pro-bono consultant to DTH for the next year.

"The Dance Theatre of Harlem holds an important place in this community, in the cultural landscape of our city, and in the entire dance world," Bloomberg said. "With a re-energized board and restructured management, the Dance Theatre of Harlem is posed to resume its place as an outstanding institution that represents the best of New York City."


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