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Dance Theatre of Harlem
World Premiere
May 3-5, 2019

Chrysler Hall, Norfolk 

This internationally acclaimed, history-making company returns to the Virginia Arts Festival with a dazzling program that includes a world premiere commissioned by the Festival and the 2019 Commemoration, American Evolution. The new ballet is being created by Claudia Schreier, an award-winning young choreographer who has drawn attention and commissions for new work from American Ballet Theatre, the Vail Dance Festival, and more. The piece, created for 12 dancers and performed in three parts, is set to a new score composed by Jessie Montgomery, whose music has been hailed as “wildly colorful and exploding with life” (The Washington Post). The new ballet’s world premiere performances in Norfolk are a “Signature Event” of American Evolution, which marks and commemorates historical events in 1619, including the arrival of the first recorded Africans to English North America and the recruitment of English women in significant numbers to the colony, a pivotal year in the history of Virginia and the nation. Join the celebration of Dance Theatre of Harlem’s historic 50th season, and be among the first to see this new work!



  1. Breathe deeply in the Norfolk Botanical Garden’s Rose Garden, wander through the Enchanted Forest, or take a morning yoga class in a serenely beautiful setting.
  2. Be sure to include a visit to Chrysler Museum of Art, the crown jewel of the visual arts in Norfolk, combining a nationally renowned art museum, a state-of-the-art glass studio, and two nearby historic homes. Walk next door to watch the Perry Glass Studio’s daily demos which show how glass masterpieces are created.
  3. Eclectic eateries, unique shops, art galleries and antique stores galore can be found in Norfolk’s historic Ghent neighborhood. This vibrant community is filled to the brim with character, culture and delicious cuisine is worth a visit.
  4. Set sail aboard the American Rover, a 125-passenger Sailing Schooner. The 2-hour narrated harbor tours and sunset cruises depart form Waterside Marina. 
  5. Enjoy a glass of wine at The Mermaid Winery, Virginia’s very first urban winery.
  6. There are many local-chef owned restaurants in Coastal Virginia. For your artful weekend, we recommend you include Todd Jurich’s Bistro or Voilà for your dinner and a decadent dessert!
  7. For an exciting mix of dining, entertainment and live music, the new Waterside District, is where the city comes together on Norfolk’s world-class waterfront.   
  8. Norfolk’s waterfront location makes for a relaxing getaway. Check out these Festival-friendly hotels
  9. Set sail on the Spirit of Norfolk. See the Atlantic Fleet like never before: Have lunch, brunch or dinner on the water. For one price, get new buffet menus, great service and waterfront views.
  10. Make it a getaway! Enjoy the entire experience…spend the night! Check out these Festival-friendly hotels
  11. For more travel information and trip ideas, visit – VISITNORFOLKTODAY.COM