In moments of extreme injustice and frustration the most impactful art is born. This is true of the inception of one of the most influential American ballet companies of the last five decades, Dance Theatre of Harlem. Arthur Mitchell created the company in New York City, after making history in 1955 as the first black principal dancer at New York City Ballet. He was also the famed protégé of George Balanchine—the Russian-born dancer, choreographer and co-founder of the School of American Ballet. Mitchell’s impulse to start Dance Theatre of Harlem is said to have been spurred by the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. on April 4, 1968. This story is from Kinfolk Issue Twenty-Three Buy Now Related Stories Arts & Culture City Guide The New York Edition A serene stay in the Flatiron District. Arts & Culture City Guide The Hoxton, Williamsburg A British bolthole in Brooklyn. Arts & Culture Issue 43 Last Night What did Planningtorock do with their evening? Arts & Culture Issue 43 Signal Boost How status anxiety drives culture. Arts & Culture Issue 38 Memes of Communication A conversation about digital folklore. Arts & Culture Issue 37 Peer Review Michelle Dean, author of Sharp: The Women Who Made an Art of Having an Opinion celebrates Renata Adler.