Dance Theater of Harlem: Masterclass with Ballet Master, Keith Saunders


February 26, 2018

dance theater of harlem photo
dedicated to reaching new audiences with a powerful message of self-reliance, artistic relevance and individual responsibility

DTH will be in performance at Durham's Carolina Theater Wednesday, February 28 at 8pm. The company has offered to teach a master class at Duke for intermediate/advanced and advanced ballet students on Monday evening February 26, 6:15-7:45PM in Rubenstein Arts Center 224.

More info and sign-up:

About Dance Theatre of Harlem

Forty-eight years ago, Arthur Mitchell and his mentor Karel Shook founded Dance Theatre of Harlem as a beacon of hope for the youth in the underprivileged neighborhood where Mitchell grew up. An acclaimed principal dancer with George Balanchine’s New York City Ballet, Mitchell took the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. as a call to action. Drawing on his expertise and his prominence as the first African American to be a permanent member of a major U.S. ballet company, Mitchell’s ground-breaking idea was to transform the lives of young people in Harlem by providing training in classical ballet. In a few short years his response to tragedy became a leading dance institution of unparalleled global acclaim.

 Now, the organization’s three-part mission is served through the Dance Theatre of Harlem Company which tours nationally and internationally with an eclectic ballet repertoire; the Dance Theatre of Harlem School, which trains more than 500 students per year in ballet and other dance disciplines during winter and summer sessions; and Dancing Through Barriers, an arts education and community engagement program that uses the arts to inspire and transform lives. Through these activitiesDance Theatre of Harlem has reached millions and is dedicated to reaching new audiences with a powerful message of self-reliance, artistic relevance and individual responsibility, all hallmarks of an organization that plays a key role in the national cultural dialogue.

This performance is funded in part by a grant from South Arts in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts. Tickets:

Keith Saunders (Ballet Master)

Keith Saunders, a native of Baltimore, Maryland, began dancing in 1971 while a student at Harvard University.   He began his ballet training in 1973 at the National Center for Afro-American Artists in Dorchester, Massachusetts.  Mr. Saunders joined Dance Theatre of Harlem in 1975 and continued his development under the tutelage of Arthur Mitchell, Karel Shook and William Griffith.  He became a principal dancer with DTH and performed a wide range of roles throughout the company’s repertoire for more than 17 years.   He also danced with France's Ballet du Nord (1986) and BalletMet of Columbus, Ohio (1987-1989). 

As a guest artist, Mr. Saunders appeared with Boston Repertory Ballet, Maryland Ballet, Eglevsky Ballet, Ballethnic Dance Company, and the David Parsons Company, among others.  He has been a faculty member of the Dance Theatre of Harlem School, the BalletMet Dance Academy (where he also served as Education Director), the New Ballet School (now Ballet Tech), and the 92nd Street Y.  In 2003, Mr. Saunders was Guest Artist-in-Residence in the Dance Department at the University of Wyoming, and he taught and choreographed at their Snowy Range Dance Festival from 2003 – 2008. 

Keith Saunders was appointed Dance Theatre of Harlem's assistant ballet master in 1994 and ballet master in 1996.  From 2004 - 2010, Mr. Saunders was director of Dancing Through Barriers®, Dance Theatre of Harlem's international education and outreach initiative, in addition to directing the DTH Ensemble.