Louis Johnson and James Thurston

Louis Johnson and James Thurston worked closely together during Treemonisha, for which Johnson was choreographer. Thurston, previously a dancer with the New York Negro Ballet, a company for which Johnson choreographed, served as assistant choreographer, dance captain, and dancer for Treemonisha. The reprisal of Scott Joplin’s 1911 opera premiered October 21, 1975 on Broadway. Joplin’s creation was largely unknown during his lifetime and only officially premiered in 1972.


James Thurston, MoBBallet
Treemonisha, Playbill
Treemonisha, Wikipedia

More about James Thurston

Before joining the Dance Theatre of Harlem, Washington DC-native James Thurston was a member of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Canada’s oldest ballet company, and the New York Negro Ballet, which was known as Ballet Americana during his time, ca. 1959.

Thurston was in the original DTH casts of Arthur Mitchell’s Spiritual Suite (1970) and Fun and Games (1971).
Thurston was also a member of George Faison’s company ca. 1974.
In 1975, he was an original cast member, assistant choreographer, and dance captain for the Broadway show Treemonisha.

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