Judy Tyrus and Paul Novosel
Classical ballet dancer Judy Tyrus and pianist, playwright, and composer Paul Novosel are the authors of Dance Theatre of Harlem: A History, A Celebration, A Movement. The definitive history of the first African-American classical ballet company. With hundreds of sensational photographs, first-hand accounts, archival images, and a well-researched narrative, this stunning visual book traces the Company from its origins in a Harlem basement at the height of the Civil Rights Movement in 1969 to its activism and innovations in virtual performances throughout 2020. It’s an essential history and embodiment of the groundbreaking, democratic vision for dance that fueled Dance Theatre of Harlem’s growth into one of the most influential and revolutionary American ballet companies of the last five decades. It’s also a tribute to the Company’s influential and high-profile supporters, who are themselves, groundbreaking figures—Misty Copeland, Nelson Mandela, Stevie Wonder, and Cicely Tyson.
Co-founders of ChromaDiverse, Inc., a non-profit corporation that promotes cultural diversity in the performing arts, Tyrus and Novosel have had long associations with Dance Theatre of Harlem. Tyrus danced for the Company for 22 years, exposing audiences on six continents to the art of ballet and the importance of cultural diversity in the performing arts. Since retiring from dance, she has continued her work with the Company as an archivist, exhibition specialist, social media manager, photographer, and consultant. Novosel has worked as the staff pianist and assistant archivist for Dance Theatre of Harlem. A summa cum laude music composition graduate of John Corigliano with a MA in music from The University of Limerick, Ireland, Novosel has enjoyed a 40-year career as a pianist, organist, playwright, and composer.