Isabel invited many members of the Dance Theatre of Harlem to join us over drinks and conversation. She is clearly a huge supporter (she’s on their Board of Directors). She spoke passionately and succinctly about the company’s impact on her life and so many others. The Theatre is a leading dance institution of global acclaim whose mission is to maintain a world-class school that trains young people in classical ballet and the allied art, to provide arts education, community outreach programs and positive role models for all and to present a ballet company of African-American and other racially diverse artists who perform the most demanding repertory at the highest level of quality. Each component of Dance Theatre of Harlem carries a solid commitment towards enriching the lives of young people and adults around the world through the arts. I look forward to getting to know the company better. They are currently offering access to open rehearsals on Thursday nights at 6:30pm weekly which are free to the public, and they happily invited all of us to come see what they are learning. At the party, I hung out with Virginia Johnson, the company’s Artistic Director, and discussed the significance of Arts Education, with my friend, Maria, from The New York Mom. When I got home, I looked her up and found out I had met a real force in dance history. That’s not something that happens to me every night.
Isabel also made us aware that DTH’s baby ballerina, Michaela DePrince, was at the party (she was featured in the ballet documentary First Position this spring and her story as an orphaned survivor from Sierra Leone really inspired people). Read all about it here and check out the trailer here.
The food by ALDI was delicious. They had several staff members on hand to promote their recent arrival in Harlem, and we were able to sample their delicious wines, cheeses, fruit and creative hors devours. I had first learned about ALDI at Mom 2.0 but was happy to meet the representatives behind the scenes. ALDI encourages green practices by having customers bring their own shopping bags. They also save shoppers money by keeping its stores open during prime shopping times. I’m quite sure that NYC is ready for ALDI – we New Yorkers love an incentive to go green and economize. Apparently, their food is anywhere from 45-50% off, that’s a chunk of change.