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Dance Theatre of Harlem: A Conversation with Robert Garland

July 20, 2023 | 5:00 pm - 5:45 pm

Company Artists Kouadio Davis and Alexandra Hutchinson in “Higher Ground.” Photo credit: Tony Duran

Artist Spotlight Series

This series offers a compelling, behind-the-scenes perspective on festival programming by shining a light on the creative process and practice of selected artists featured during An Appalachian Summer Festival.

Join us for a conversation with Dance Theatre of Harlem’s new Artistic Director, Robert Garland, whose passion for dance ignited when he witnessed his first Dance Theatre of Harlem performance. He moved to New York City, attended The Juilliard School, and then quickly rose through the Dance Theatre of Harlem ranks to become a principal dancer. Soon after Dance Theatre’s founder and former artistic director Arthur Mitchell invited Garland to create a work for the company, he was appointed their first resident choreographer and director of the Dance Theatre of Harlem School. He has since been selected to succeed Virginia Johnson as Artistic Director of the company, beginning his new role in 2023.

For more information about the Artist Spotlight Series, visit tcva.org.

LOCATION: Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts, Outdoor Balcony, 2nd Floor

DATE/TIME: Thursday, July 20; 5-5:45pm
Includes light snack and beverage prior to the Dance Theatre of Harlem 7pm evening performance

COST: Event is FREE

ACCOMMODATION STATEMENT: Appalachian is committed to providing an inclusive experience for individuals with disabilities. If accommodations are needed in order to fully participate on the basis of a disability, contact the Office of Disability Resources (828.262.3056). It is recommended that accommodation requests be made two weeks prior to the event.


Robert Garland was a member of the Dance Theatre of Harlem Company achieving the rank of principal dancer. After creating a work for the DTH School Ensemble, Arthur Mitchell invited Robert Garland to create a work for the Dance Theatre of Harlem company and appointed him the organization’s first Resident Choreographer. He was also Director of the Professional Training Program of the DTH school, and the organization’s webmaster. In addition to choreographing several ballets for DTH, Mr. Garland has also created works for New York City Ballet, Britain’s Royal Ballet, Oakland Ballet and many others. His commercial work has included music videos, commercials and short films, including the children’s television show Sesame Street, a Nike commercial featuring New York Yankee Derek Jeter, the NAACP Image Awards, a short film for designer Donna Karan, and the “Charmin Cha-Cha” for Proctor and Gamble. Mr. Garland holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from the Juilliard School in New York City. Mr. Garland is currently the Dance Theatre of Harlem School Director as well.


July 20, 2023
5:00 pm - 5:45 pm
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