Arthur Mitchell, principal dancer of New York City Ballet and co-founder of Dance Theatre of Harlem in New York City, dies at the age of 84.
It’s with the deepest sadness we share the news that our founding artistic director, the great, Arthur Mitchell has passed away. His legacy of passion, power, and perfection will live on through each and every person he's touched in his lifetime. We love you and we honor you! pic.twitter.com/eGnOntPXRz
Below is a video of Mitchell dancing with Allegra Kent in the pas de deux in Agon. George Balanchine created the role for him – as well as the role of Puck in A Midsummer Night’s Dream – when he was a dancer for New York City Ballet. Mitchell danced for the company from 1955 – 1968 and rose to the rank of principal dancer.
In 1969 during the peak of fervor of the Civil Rights Movement in America, Mitchell Mitchell co-founded the Dance Theatre of Harlem with Karel Shook in Harlem, NY. This school eventually developed and evolved into a professional company and is recognized as “the first Black classical ballet company. This was revolutionary and paved the way to diversity in the industry.
Arthur Mitchell’s honors include: Kennedy Center Honoree in 1993, MacArthur Fellow in 1994, and United States National Medal of Arts in 1995.