Arts & Humanities Campus News

Dance Theatre of Harlem performs to music by Stevie Wonder, J.S. Bach

Dance Theatre of Harlem company artists Kouadio Davis and Alexandra Hutchinson perform in Higher Ground. (Photo by Theik Smith)

In the early 1970s, Stevie Wonder was in the midst of a creative outpouring unmatched in American popular music. And a young dance company in New York was shaking up notions of who ballet is by and for. The songs and dancers come together at UGA’s Fine Arts Theatre on Jan. 27.

At 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., the Dance Theatre of Harlem appears with “Higher Ground, a ballet by company director Robert Garland. The vintage Wonder songs Garland has choreographed include the title track and “Village Ghetto Land” and “Saturn” from “Songs in the Key of Life.” The program also features Garland’s “New Bach,” set to a J.S. Bach violin concerto, and “Sounds of Hazel,” a tribute to jazz pianist Hazel Scott with music including Duke Ellington’s “The Jeep is Jumpin’.”

The Dance Theatre of Harlem is considered “one of ballet’s most exciting undertakings” (New York Times). The multi-ethnic company tours nationally and internationally with a forward-thinking repertoire that includes treasured classics, neoclassical works by George Balanchine, and contemporary works that use the language of ballet to celebrate co-founder Arthur Mitchell’s belief that ballet belongs to everyone. Through performances, community engagement and arts education, the company carries forward its message of empowerment through the arts for all and presents a powerful vision for ballet in the 21st century.

Guests can also enjoy a free pre-performance talk by Garland in Room 201 from 6:45-7:15 p.m.

Complimentary shuttle bus service for patrons with limited mobility is available from the Performing Arts Center to the Fine Arts Theatre for Dance Theatre of Harlem’s evening performance. The shuttle bus is a free service for any ticket holder. Seating is based on availability, and reservations are required.

To secure a spot, please contact the Performing Arts Center box office. Reservations must be made before 4 p.m. the day prior to the performance.

In addition to its Saturday performances, the company is performing a sold-out Piedmont Athens Regional Performance for Young People on the morning of Jan. 26.

These performances are supported by David L. Coker and Sharon J. Price, the Willson Center for Humanities and Arts and the UGA Parents Leadership Council.

The presentation of “Sounds of Hazel” by Dance Theatre of Harlem was made possible by the New England Foundation for the Arts’ National Dance Project, with lead funding from the Doris Duke Foundation and the Mellon Foundation.

Three ways to get tickets

  1. Purchase tickets online at
  2. Call the Performing Arts Center box office at 706-542-4400, Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  3. Visit the UGA Performing Arts Center box office, Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (five-minute parking is available in the drop off circle at the Performing Arts Center for purchasing or picking up tickets.)

Single tickets begin at $25, and UGA student tickets are just $10. Parking is free.

To learn more about all UGA Performing Arts Center events, visit