Founded by Arthur Mitchell, who was the first African-American principal dancer of New York City Ballet, the company is steeped
in the neoclassical style developed by George Balanchine. The current artistic director and resident choreographer, Robert Garland, has choreographed contemporary ballets to the music of Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, and Motown music. The company’s most recent performance at the Detroit Opera House in 2022 featured Claudia Schreier’s Passage, a work commissioned to mark the 400th year of the arrival of enslaved Africans in North America, and Higher Ground, a ballet set to songs by Stevie Wonder.
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