Vixen Chat: Ashley Murphy Talks Dance Theatre of Harlem and Barriers for Black Ballerinas

Ashley Murphy

VV:Who’s the most exciting person you’ve performed for?
AM: The president. We got to do a program at the White House a couple years ago when Bush was still in office. Hopefully we get to go back soon while [Barack] Obama is still in office.

Why do you think it’s important for people to take notice of what DTH is doing?
Since 2004, the company has been on hiatus because of financial problems, so we have so much to show the world that was lost for so many years. DTH needs to be here to continue to help put black ballerinas and dancers in general back on the map. DTH is important in progressiveness in that aspect. It’s our job now to bring that great name back and continue to excel and make it even better than before.

What can people expect from DTH this season?
They can expect to see a large array of genres of dance. I think any audience member will be treated to a wonderful evening of dance when they come to see us. For those that don’t enjoy the classics as much, there’s something for everybody in the program. Come out and see Dance Theatre of Harlem and see the magic that we have to provide for you. Don’t let the idea of ballet scare you away from seeing a classical performance because you will find something you will enjoy.