Dance Theatre of Harlem

Sunday Matinée | November 21, 2021

Buy Tickets

Dance Theatre of Harlem’s Sunday Matinée series grew out of Co-founder Arthur Mitchell’s commitment to providing the community access to the arts. Join us on Zoom for an inspiring afternoon of artistry on November 21, 2021 at 3pm EST! There will be a discussion with the artists immediately following the performance. Virtual Tickets are $7.

Sunday Matinée Program

Dionne Figgins


At the December 2018 memorial service for his dear friend Arthur Mitchell, Jacques recited two original poems in his honor. Jacques passionate and heartfelt delivery of these poems demonstrated his undeniable artistry beyond his fame as a dancer.

Jacques d’Amboise (July 28, 1934 – May 2, 2021) was an American ballet dancer, choreographer, actor, and educator. He joined the New York City Ballet in 1949 and was named principal dancer in 1953, and throughout his time with the company he danced 24 roles for George Balanchine. He also made film appearances, including Seven Brides for Seven Brothers and Carousel. He choreographed 17 ballets for the New York City Ballet and retired from performing in 1984.

Mr. D’Amboise founded the National Dance Institute in 1976 to promote dance to children. His work with the institute was featured in the documentary, He Makes Me Feel Like Dancin’, which won an Academy Award and a Primetime Emmy Award. He received the MacArthur Fellowship in 1990, the Kennedy Center Honors in 1995, and the National Medal of Arts in 1998.


The Greatest
Choreography: Arthur Mitchell
Music:  Michael Masser, (Theme song for the motion picture, The Greatest, starring Muhammed Ali) Lyrics: Linda Creed Vocalist: Michael McElroy
Dancers: Paunika Jones & Christopher Charles McDaniel


NDI is a non-profit arts education organization founded in 1976 by ballet star Jacques d’Amboise. Through school partnerships, after-school programming, public performances, and teaching artist trainings, NDI uses dance as a catalyst to engage children and motivate them toward excellence. To learn more about National Dance Institute, please visit NDI founder Jacques d’Amboise, who danced at George Balanchine’s New York City Ballet for 35 years, is recognized as one of the finest classical dancers of our time. His legacy as a leader the field of arts education continues on with a teaching method that reaches more than 6,500 students every year in New York City schools, as well as thousands more via 13 associate programs in the US and at our international partners around the world.

Drums Speaks (Excerpt)
Choreography: Bianca Johnson & Julio Leitao
Percussion: Roderick Jackson
Costumes: Lynn Hippen
Videography: Character Generators

Where the River Begins
Choreography: Kelly Buwalda
Music: Yakir Ben-Hur (Performed by the NDI Band)
Costumes: Lynn Hippen
Videography: Character Generators


Harlem School of the Arts was founded in 1964 by internationally acclaimed concert soprano Dorothy Maynor, inspired by her fervent belief that world-class training in the arts stimulates the child, strengthens the family and gives pride of ownership to the community. She opened Harlem School of the Arts in the basement of the St. James Presbyterian Church in Harlem at a time when the community suffered severe physical blight, high levels of poverty, and offered few cultural resources for its young people. From toddlers to adults, the students who came through its doors developed an invaluable sense of purpose and focus, whether or not they pursued professional careers in the arts.

Phenomenal Woman
Choreography: Leyland Simmons
Spoken Word Artist: Maya Angelou Editing: Nidal Harvey
Video Editing: Nidal Harvey
Dancer: Isio-Maya S (HSA Alum)

Disconnected State
Choreography: Leyland Simmons
Music: Ludovico Einaudi (composer)
Video Editing: Nidal Harvey
Dancers: Dylan Van Putten, Max Malachi, Jabari King, Walter Russell III, Ricardo Barrett (Guest Artist)


The School of American Ballet is widely regarded as America’s leading ballet school. It is the official academy of New York City Ballet, trains almost all of New York City Ballet’s dancers as well as dancers for companies around the globe, and is world renowned for the excellence of its classical training as established by the school’s founders – the legendary teacher and choreographer George Balanchine and the visionary arts patron and writer Lincoln Kirstein. Located at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, SAB annually trains over 1,000 youth aged 6 to 19 and provides $2 million in financial aid to almost half the student body so that talented children are able to attend regardless of their families’ ability to pay. Students enrolled in the current Winter Term hail from throughout New York City, 26 states and 2 foreign countries; and 52 percent identify as students of color. Approximately 20 advanced students embark on professional dance careers annually. Beyond the footlights, the school’s alumni have made their mark over the past 87 years as founders, artistic directors, choreographers and teachers for dance companies and schools around the world. While closely affiliated with New York City Ballet, SAB is an independent 501(c)(3) non-profit organization with its own Board, administration, budget and fundraising.

DIVERTIMENTO NO. 15” (Excerpt)
Choreography: George Balanchine © The George Balanchine Trust
Music: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Pianist: Elaine Chelton
School of American Ballet editor: Kevin Dhaniram
Dancers: Kye Cooley, Sahel Pascual, Renee Spaltenstein

(Excerpt from “Who Cares?”)
Choreography: George Balanchine © The George Balanchine Trust
Music: By George Gershwin and Ira Gershwin
Pianist: Alan Moverman
WC Music Corp. (ASCAP) and Ira Gershwin Music (GMR)
All rights on behalf of Ira Gershwin Music administered by Warner Geo Met Ric MusicSchool of American Ballet editor: Kevin Dhaniram
Dancers: Luca Anaya, Andrew Denise, Phillip Duclos, Finn Duggan, McKenzie Soares


Dionne D. Figgins began her career as a member of the Dance Theatre of Harlem, under the direction of Arthur Mitchell, dancing lead roles in SerenadeThe Four Temperaments, Agon, and Concerto Barocco, all by George Balanchine. She has also appeared as a guest artist with Complexions Contemporary Ballet.

Her Broadway credits include Hot Feet, Memphis, Leap of Faith (Assistant Choreographer) and Motown the Musical. Her regional theatre credits include Sophisticated LadiesThe Wiz, Ray Charles Live, Smokey Joe’s Cafe (Ovation Nominee, Chita Rivera Award nominee), Trip of Love, Chicago, and A Wonderful World. Film/TV credits include: Across the Universe, Walk Hard, The Princess and the Frog, Bolden, She’s Gotta Have It (Netflix), Starz Drama Flesh and Bone (Yasmine) and Power, Glee, House, and The Academy Awards, to name a few. Ms. Figgins is the co-founder and Creative Director of Broadway Serves, a non-profit organization whose mission is to engage theater professionals in community service opportunities locally, nationally, and abroad. During the pandemic, she turned her focus to teaching full time for her home studio of Jones-Haywood Dance School in Washington, DC. She also galvanized the theatre community in a series of conversations on Instagram called Pass the Mic Broadway, an initiative that sparked dialogue about social justice issues between Black and White female theatre makers. She is a proud member of AEA and SAG AFTRA.

In the summer of 2021 Dionne was named Artistic Director of Ballet Tech, succeeding its founder, Elliot Feld! Ballet Tech is a nonprofit group that has made ballet training accessible to thousands of promising New York schoolchildren. Dionne began her work as Artistic Director in August.