The Kennedy Center presents the Ballet Across America series for the fifth time with a focus on women leadership in dance. Virginia Johnson and Lourdes Lopez, Artistic Directors of Dance Theatre of Harlem and Miami City Ballet, respectively, showcase their companies in individual programs as well as one evening of a special shared celebration program. The shared program features dancers from both companies in a world premiere Kennedy Center commission by Pam Tanowitz.
As two of the most recognizable female artistic directors in the field, both Lopez and Johnson are responsible for not only overseeing the legacies of their celebrated companies but to build upon those foundations. With each company imprinting its own unique signature on the future of ballet and dance, both women have used their positions to champion equity in the art form and create work reflective of their communities.
– Meg Booth, Director of Dance Programming at Kennedy Center
As a founding member and former principal dancer with Dance Theatre of Harlem, Virginia Johnson continues championing the company’s mission to make arts accessible to all. She is also an ardent proponent and supporter of ensuring that there is diversity in gender and color in all members of the arts community – from dancers and choreographers to administrators, and everything in between. “My hope is that these Ballet Across America programs will give audiences a glimpse at what is possible.”
In Miami, home of Miami City Ballet, Lourdes Lopez calls on her New York City Ballet years under the directorship of George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins to preserve the company’s essence of Balanchine while incorporating the talents of her neighborhood. The prominent Cuban culture and Miami’s distinct spirit have influenced many collaborations with local and international artists. “We are delighted to share this artistry with lovers of dance in our nation’s capital.”
Ballet Across America will be at The Kennedy Center Opera House from May 28 – June 2, 2019.