Back to profile

Zita Allen

Stories by Zita

Tease photo

Camille A. Brown choreographs Met Opera’s ‘Porgy & Bess’

Standing in front of a large studio filled with some 90 singers and dancers, is a young, diminutive Black woman whose profile is reminiscent of a regal African sculpture thanks to a head wrap that forms a bun atop her head...

Tease photo

NDI: There is a rose in East Harlem

There is a rose in East Harlem where hundreds of youngsters learn ballet, tap, modern dance, music, choreography and more while experiencing “a love of the arts, a passion for learning and a desire to strive for their personal best.” The name of the rose is the National Dance Institute.

Brooklyn Mack makes historic debut in American Ballet Theatre’s ‘Le Corsaire’

Brooklyn Mack, internationally acclaimed African-American ballet dancer formerly of the Washington Ballet, made an historic debut as a guest artist in American Ballet Theatre’s production of “Le Corsaire” at the Metropolitan Opera House, June 11-15.

Tease photo

The Alvin Ailey School: 50 years and still going strong

On Thursday, June 13, the centerpiece of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s Lincoln Center engagement will be The Ailey Spirit gala.

Tease photo

DanceAfrica celebrates Rwandan rebirth/renewal in 2019

When DanceAfrica returns to BAM on Memorial Day weekend, it will highlight a dramatic international story of rebirth and transformation for Rwanda.

Tease photo

Lindy Hopper ‘Queen of Swing’ Norma Miller passes at 99

Norma Miller, the beloved, effervescent, energetic “Queen of Swing,” was the last surviving member of an elite group of dancers known as Whitey’s Lindy Hoppers.

Tease photo

Dancers Linda Celeste Sims, Glenn Sims to bring new addition to Ailey family

Anyone who has seen Ailey's exquisite Linda Celeste Sims perform duets with her husband Glenn Allen Sims can attest that there is always something magical in the air when the two dance together.

Tease photo

Dance Theatre of Harlem City Center season celebrates 50 years

Dance Theatre of Harlem’s upcoming City Center season (April 10-13) is special for so many reasons.

Tease photo

Carmen de Lavallade’s magical tour of a legendary ‘Life’

Dancer, actor, choreographer and charismatic, iconic performer Carmen de Lavallade takes audiences on a magical mesmerizing tour of what can only be described as a charmed life when she graces the Appel Room of Jazz at Lincoln Center with her show, “Life of a Legend,” Jan. 24 and 25 at 7 p.m. each night.

Tease photo

Raven Wilkinson, ballet pioneer and mentor to Misty Copeland, passes at 83

Raven Wilkinson, the first African-American woman to be admitted to a major American ballet company, the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo, died Dec. 19, at her home in Manhattan.

Tease photo

Honoring the legacy of an icon: Dance Theatre of Harlem’s Arthur Mitchell

Mitchell’s life is a testament to the truth of the old saying: “You only live once, but If you do it right once is enough.”

Tease photo

Honoring the legacy of an icon: Dance Theatre of Harlem’s Arthur Mitchell

Arthur Mitchell’s larger-than-life spirit filled the hallowed halls of Riverside Church as an overflow crowd paid tribute to a life well-lived and a legacy that will endure forever.

Tease photo

Ailey celebrates milestone 60th anniversary season

This season, the internationally famous, critically acclaimed and universally embraced Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater marks a milestone.

Tease photo

ABT’s African-American soloist Calvin Royal III continues a legacy

Even before he became American Ballet Theatre’s only African-American male soloist, when he was still a member of the corps de ballet, Calvin Royal III’s presence onstage seemed to command attention. Whether he was one of a group of dancers in “Swan Lake” or another iconic classic or in a contemporary work by an up-and-coming choreographer, he stood out.

Tease photo

Ailey celebrates 60th anniversary by nurturing new talent

Sixty years in the life of any company is an accomplishment, but in the life of a Black dance company, it is a triumph against tremendous odds.

Tease photo

Ailey celebrates 60th anniversary by nurturing new talent

Sixty years in the life of any company is an accomplishment, but in the life of a Black dance company, it is a triumph against tremendous odds, especially when that company first came into existence during the racial unrest characterized by this country’s tumultuous civil rights era.

Tease photo

Arthur Mitchell: The man and his legacy

Arthur Mitchell, the internationally recognized dancer, artistic director, choreographer, educator and visionary, died Wednesday, Sept. 19, after a long illness. He was 84 years old.

Tease photo

Arthur Mitchell: The man and his legacy

Arthur Mitchell, the internationally recognized dancer, artistic director, choreographer, educator and visionary, who made history in 1956 as the first Black member of the New York City Ballet and in 1969 as founder of the groundbreaking Dance Theatre of Harlem, died Wednesday, Sept. 19, after a long illness

Tease photo

Arthur Mitchell, legendary ballet trailblazer, dies at 84

Arthur Mitchell, the legendary force of nature who changed the face of American dance, died Wednesday, Sept. 19, in Manhattan. He was 84.

Tease photo

Alicia Graf, former DTH and Ailey lead dancer, makes history at Juilliard

This semester, when dance students flock through the glass doors of the Juilliard School, they will be greeted by a history-making director of the school’s Dance Division.

Tease photo

Dance Theatre of Harlem dancers reflect as company turns 50

Dance Theatre of Harlem, the ballet company founded by Arthur Mitchell and Karel Shook in 1969 and led today by former DTH ballerina Virginia Johnson, kicks off a months long 50th anniversary celebration at Lincoln Center Saturday, Aug. 4.

Tease photo

The Alvin Ailey School strikes a ‘Pose’

“Pose,” the new FX television show, is primarily about the often overlooked transgender members of the LGBTQ community and the 1980s ballroom scene associated with the dance craze known as voguing.

Tease photo

Camille A. Brown makes historic moves with ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’

When some 6 million viewers tuned in to watch John Legend as Jesus Christ, Brandon Victor Dixon as Judas, Sara Bareilles as Mary Magdalene and Alice Cooper as King Herod in NBC’s production of the Andrew Lloyd Webber-Tim Rice rock musical “Jesus Christ, Superstar” a few weeks ago, they also had an opportunity to see the magnificent work of the talented young African-American choreographer/dancer, Camille A. Brown.

Tease photo

Misty Copeland lights up Met stage during ABT’s season

Misty Copeland, the American Ballet Theatre’s first African-American principal ballerina in its 75-year history, is featured in practically every ballet performed during the company’s current season (now through July 7).

Tease photo

Misty Copeland lights up Met stage during ABT’s season

Misty Copeland, the American Ballet Theatre’s first African-American principal ballerina in its 75-year history, is featured in practically every ballet performed during the company’s current season (now through July 7).

Tease photo

Ailey kicks off summer season celebrating women

The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre’s traditional summer season sweeps into Lincoln Center June 13 to June 17 with three diverse programs—Celebrate Women, Ailey, Then & Now and Musical Icons—the Ailey Spirit Gala benefit, three new Ailey dancers and a series of activities that all are invited to participate in as the company enters its sixth decade.

Tease photo

Philadanco Takes a stand at Joyce Theater

The Philadelphia Dance Company, better known as Philadanco, returns to New York City June 12-17 for its first full performance season at the Joyce Theater since 2012. Founder and Artistic Director Joan Myers Brown couldn’t be happier.

Tease photo

DanceAfrica celebrates South Africa at BAM

The nation’s largest African dance festival and the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s longest running program returns for its 41st year with a vibrant and exhilarating program that celebrates a rich African cultural tradition

Tease photo

DanceAfrica celebrates South Africa at BAM

May 25 to May 28, the nation’s largest African dance festival and the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s longest running program returns for its 41st year with a vibrant and exhilarating program that celebrates a rich African cultural tradition, DanceAfrica Artistic Director Abdel R. Salaam is calling Remembrance, Reconciliation and Renewal.

Tease photo

Steppin’ out with Step Afrika!

This Saturday, Step Afrika! returns to New York, bringing its electrifying performance of steppin’.

Tease photo

Donald McKayle, American dance icon, passes

On April 6, one of America’s most distinguished choreographers, dancers, directors and teachers, Donald Cohen McKayle, born July 6, 1930, to Eva and Philip McKayle, died in Irvine, Calif., at the age of 87.

Tease photo

Dance Theatre of Harlem spring season sizzles

African drummers fill the air with compelling Caribbean rhythms. Dancers, male and female, appear dressed in floor-length skirts festooned with red balls accenting every movement of their swiveling hips.

Tease photo

Ailey II Kicks off 2018 season

Ailey II, the dynamic company of 12 young, talented dancers performing works by emerging innovative choreographers, returns to New York for its annual season at the Ailey Citigroup Theater, March 14 to March 25.

Tease photo

Mentoring master class with Misty Copeland and Carmen de Lavallade

The phrase “each one, teach one” will take on a new meaning Nov. 6 when Harlem Stage hosts a unique conversation between two remarkable African-American dance pioneers—American Ballet Theatre principal Misty Copeland and dance legend Carmen de Lavallade—before an audience of aspiring young dancers.

Tease photo

Mentoring master class with Misty Copeland and Carmen de Lavallade

The phrase “each one, teach one” will take on a new meaning Nov. 6 when Harlem Stage hosts a unique conversation between two remarkable African-American dance pioneers—American Ballet Theatre principal Misty Copeland and dance legend Carmen de Lavallade—before an audience of aspiring young dancers from two major Harlem arts organizations, the Dance Theatre of Harlem and the Harlem School of the Arts.

Tease photo

Bessies awarded to two African-American dance artists

It’s an honor to have one’s work recognized by one’s peers. Of course, we heard that a lot during the recent Emmy Awards, but, trite or not, it’s gratifying to see African-American artists recognized by their colleagues.

Tease photo

New York City Ballet’s Taylor Stanley leaps into history

When Taylor Stanley was promoted to principal at the New York City Ballet by Artistic Director Peter Martins, he was thrust into a spotlight shared with only a handful of others, most notably the ebullient, late Albert Evans and the venerable Arthur Mitchell, whose promotion by NYCB founder and Artistic Director George Balanchine made him the first African-American principal dancer with any of this country’s major ballet companies.

Tease photo

Culture icon Carmen de Lavallade bows out of White House reception

Carmen de Lavallade, the 86-year-old dancer, choreographer and actress being honored by the Kennedy Center in December, recently announced that she will not attend the White House reception.

Tease photo

Ailey Extension Dance Classes: Release your inner dancer

Have you ever sat in the audience at an Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater performance during the magnificent dance company’s summer and winter seasons and thought wistfully, “I would love to try to do at least some of that!” Well, nothing’s impossible.

Tease photo

Ailey Extension Dance Classes: Release your inner dancer

Have you ever sat in the audience at an Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater performance during the magnificent dance company’s summer and winter seasons and thought wistfully, “I would love to try to do at least some of that!”

Tease photo

Gilda Squire: The woman behind Misty Copeland

When Misty Copeland steps onstage in this, her second, year as the first African-American principal in the 75-year history of American Ballet Theatre, she will make history once again with debuts as the first Black ballerina to dance the lead in several iconic classical ballets on the stage of the Metropolitan Opera House.

Tease photo

Alvin Ailey Lincoln Center summer season lights up the night with fireworks

Robert Battle, artistic director of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, says there are a number of reasons folks should be excited about the company’s upcoming Lincoln Center summer season (June 14-18).

Tease photo

DanceAfrica to celebrate 40th anniversary, Chuck Davis’ life and legacy

The deep, resonant sound of African drums and the rhythmic pounding of some 50 dancers’ feet make the floor and walls of the Brooklyn Academy of Music fourth floor rehearsal studio reverberate.

Tease photo

Cutting-edge dance comes to HarlemStage

Fasten your seat belts.

Tease photo

Misty Copeland talks new book, ‘Ballerina Body’

American Ballet Theatre principal dancer Misty Copeland’s latest book “Ballerina Body” has hit bookstores, and her excitement was palpable as I interviewed her in the “green room” at the Union Square Barnes & Nobles...

Tease photo

Dance Theatre of Harlem celebrates 48th anniversary

On a recent Sunday, in one of Dance Theatre of Harlem’s spacious, sun-drenched studios in its 152nd Street headquarters, Artistic Director Virginia Johnson beamed as she welcomed a standing-room-only audience to a special Sunday matinee, the celebration of DTH’s 48th anniversary.

Tease photo

DTH’s Virginia Johnson on 48th Anniversary Celebration, February 19

Virginia Johnson, Artistic Director of Dance Theatre of Harlem (DTH) is excited about the upcoming celebration of the company’s 48th Anniversary on Sunday, February 19 at its 152nd Street headquarters.

Tease photo

Complexions kicks off season at the Joyce Theater

Complexions Contemporary Ballet, a company formed in 1994 by resident choreographer Dwight Rhoden and dancer Desmond Richardson, kicks off its 23rd season at the Joyce Theater (Jan. 24-Feb. 5) with two distinctive new programs and a troupe of dancers that will knock your socks off.

Tease photo

Black male ‘ballerina’ of Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo

Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo, the all-male comic ballet company, takes the stage at the Joyce Theater (Dec. 13-28) with a program presenting parodies of traditional classical ballets that tickle, tantalize and make audiences laugh out loud while treating them to technically skilled, impressive parodies of such iconic ballets as “Swan Lake,” “Giselle” and others.

Tease photo

Afro Cuban Orisha Dance Theater has world premiere Dec. 17

“Siete Mares,” a new work by Afro Cuban Orisha Dance Theater, is set to have its world premiere this weekend.

Prev