The Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra, under the leadership of Artistic Director and Conductor Neal Gittleman, is honored to be a part of the Dayton Contemporary Dance Company’s 50th Anniversary celebration for a special DCDC Golden Anniversary Concert on Saturday, May 4, 2019 at 6:30pm at the Schuster Center in downtown Dayton.
Founded in 1968 by the late Jeraldyne Blunden, Dayton Contemporary Dance Company (DCDC) is the oldest modern dance company in Ohio. DCDC serves as a cultural ambassador to Dayton, the state of Ohio, the Midwest, and the nation. The company holds the world’s largest archive of classic African American dance works and one of the largest of any kind among contemporary dance companies worldwide. Noteworthy choreographers who have worked with the company include Alvin Ailey, Talley Beatty, Donald Byrd, Bill T. Jones, José Limón, Donald McKayle, Ray Mercer, Bebe Miller, Doug Varone, and Kevin Ward.
Together, the Dayton Contemporary Dance Company and the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra will present a thrilling performance to honor DCDC’s 50th Anniversary as the region’s outstanding modern dance company rooted in the African American experience. The evening’s performance will consist of three engaging pieces that celebrate the artistry and athleticism of the full DCDC company of dancers.
The first of the three pieces presented will be the World Premiere choreographed by former DCDC artistic director Kevin Ward. The new work is entitledand each day you mean one more and is set to brand new music by composer and musician Derrick Spivey, Jr. and performed by the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra. Neal, Derrick and Kevin–conductor, composer, and choreographer–have worked closely together over the last several months to bring this work to life.
and each day you mean one more is partly inspired by the poem “The Low Road” by Marge Piercy, which addresses the challenges faced by the lone actor for societal good and how, with the gradual attraction and enlistment of like-minded individuals, a real force for change can be built that can resist destructive reactionary forces. In creating the dance, choreographer Kevin Ward was inspired by many lone actors such as Fanny Lou Hamer, David Hogg, Fred Rogers, James Baldwin, Malala, Claudette Colvin, and many nameless actors, such as the U.S. prisoners who staged a massive strike against systematic abuse, even though it resulted in the cruelest solitary confinement, and how their efforts inspired millions to follow suit.
DCDC will also perform a signature work from their history called Children of the Passage. This work was co-created for DCDC by world-renowned choreographer Ronald K. Brown and Tony-nominated choreographer Donald McKayle, who passed away just over a year ago this April. The work follows a party of decadent lost souls that are haunted and later rescued by spirits that reconnect them to their ancient and ancestral character. The composition is a cadence that is drawn from the traditional marching jazz bands of New Orleans, with the grind and groove of the contemporary jazz and soul music. The language of movements is translated from the visual poetry of African and African American dance and the celebration of cultural rituals of yesterday and today.
The third work on the program is American Mo’, created by choreographer and DCDC Associate Artistic Director Crystal Michelle Perkins. The dance is a celebration of triumph over adversity. Dancers express freedom, courage and joy to Duke Ellington’s “Three Black Kings,” composed in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. This work originally premiered on September 19 & 20, 2015 as part ofAmerican Mosaic, Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Miriam Rosenthal Foundation for the Arts and was performed with accompaniment by Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra at the Schuster Center. DCDC has performed the innovative piece in New York City, Kazakhstan, and the Bolshoi in Moscow.
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