Arthur Mitchell: Harlem's Ballet Trailblazer

Dancers' Panel

Lenfest Center for the Arts

Columbia University

February 24, 2018

This panel, organized in tandem with Arthur Mitchell: Harlem’s Ballet Trailblazer, featured three former members of the Dance Theatre of Harlem – Marcia Sells, Theara Ward, and Robert Garland – in conversation with the exhibition curator, Lynn Garafola.  Here are very short “bios” of these remarkable individuals:

Marcia Sells is the Dean of Students at Harvard Law School. Sells received her J.D. from Columbia University, and her B.A. from Barnard College. Prior to returning to Columbia in 2002, she held a variety of high-level positions in academia, the private sector, and public service. From 1976 to 1979 Marcia Sells was a member of the Dance Theatre of Harlem.

Theara J. Ward began her professional career with the Dance Theater of Harlem when she was thirteen years old and danced her first principal role, at the age of seventeen.  Her career has taken  her around the world. She has appeared in theater on television and has also written her own one-woman show, From The Heart of A Sistah.  She is now a Dancing Through Barriers Program Associate at Dance Theatre of Harlem.

Robert Garland is a former principal dancer with the Dance Theatre of Harlem.  He is currently Resident Choreographer for the Dance Theatre of Harlem company, and Director of the Dance Theatre of Harlem School.  He holds a B.F.A. in Dance from The Juilliard School.

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