New York City Ballet dancer Arthur Mitchell, pictured in 1963

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Mitchell was the primary black ballet dancer to attain worldwide stardom

Arthur Mitchell, one of many first black ballet dancers, has died in New York Metropolis on the age of 84.

The pioneering African-American dancer rose from a childhood in Harlem to carry out main roles beneath famend choreographer George Balanchine.

He was some of the standard dancers with the New York Metropolis ballet within the 50s and 60s and was the primary black dancer to realize worldwide stardom.

Mitchell mentioned his best achievement was bringing black folks into ballet.

In 1969 he co-founded the Dance Theatre of Harlem, which was the primary main classical ballet firm in America to prioritise black dancers.

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His earlier pairing with the white prima ballerina Diana Adams in 1957 brought about a serious stir in a rustic which was, on the time, riven by segregation.

In an interview earlier this 12 months Mitchell, who lived in Manhattan, spoke of the early hostile reactions he had obtained from audiences earlier than his expertise in the end gained them over, resulting in common standing ovations.

“I danced myself into their hearts,” he mentioned.

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Mitchell (R) introduces his dancers for a efficiency on the White Home in 2006

Nonetheless he additionally identified that there was nonetheless only a tiny variety of African-American ballerinas, commenting: “There’s nonetheless work to be executed.”

Mitchell’s niece, Juli Mills-Ross, mentioned his loss of life had been brought on by issues resulting in coronary heart failure.

The present director of the Dance Theatre of Harlem, Anna Glass, hailed Mitchell as a real visionary.

The theatre later paid tribute to the favored dancer in a tweet, saying that his legacy would stay on.



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