The legendary Dance Theatre of Harlem Company is back after an eight-year hiatus and they are in top form. Almost a decade of re-organization, leadership building and increased fundraising efforts culminated into a dazzling preview performance in Manhattan at El Museo del Barrio.Artistic director Virginia Johnson, who was also a founding member of the Dance Theatre of Harlem, introduced the crop of 18 new dancers who will soon embark on a multi-city tour starting in October 2012.
The preview show began with the soulful “Gloria In Exclsis Deo” and ended with the joyously fun “Return (Mother Popcorn).” I’m pretty sure I saw a very thorough catdaddy occur towards the end and there were definitely some James Brown slides in there, which is appropriate because the music was a James Brown score.
The standout piece however was “In the Mirror of Her Mind,” a passionate, powerful and haunting number. It’s an incredible demonstration of the human body’s seemingly boundless supply of grace and strength. To see it is to love it. And to see it, you should check out the tour schedule.