Dallas Black Dance Theatre launches its Legacy Performance Series featuring art that replicates life. The mesmerizing, powerful words from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “We Shall Overcome” speech come to life in the work Bodies as Site of Faith and Protest choreographed by Tommie-Waheed Evans. The work, which made its Dallas premiere in 2018, will be the focal point for a virtual experience on Saturday, June 20, 2020, at 6:00 pm CDT. The live Zoom experience allows the audience to engage with the choreographer and dancers in real time.
Bodies as Site of Faith and Protest explores the idea of bodies uniting in protest through faith. The dance takes on added theatrics as the dancer’s sing, with DBDT principal Claude Alexander III leading a cappella songs during the performance. “It’s an embodied map of a process that pushes towards action,” explained choreographer Tommie-Waheed Evans. “Through that work, we take a visceral walk down memory lane and (re)learn the road to freedom.”
The Legacy Performance Series virtual experience will run the full ballet from DBDT’s 2018 premiere. Tommie-Waheed Evans will speak about his timely work, which reflects national historical times and is relevant today. In addition to behind-the-scenes rehearsal footage, DBDT dancers will candidly share their perspectives about the process and journey to performing this work.
Dallas Black Dance Theatre’s live performances and events have been canceled since mid-March due to the current public health crisis. DBDT dancers have been collaborating with the marketing department, while practicing social distancing from home, to produce dance video projects to motivate and inspire patrons in a campaign called #DBDTatHome on social media.
“Exploring new ways to reconnect with our extended DBDT family challenges us to grow as the times require,” said Dallas Black Dance Theatre Artistic Director Melissa M. Young. “Bringing the Legacy Performance Series into the fold reminds us that we stand on the mighty shoulders of our past, and each experience provides a source of inspiration as to why we should continue to simply do the work. The combination of enjoying live conversation from the choreographer and company dancers, viewing rehearsal moments and performance all-in-one is a priceless opportunity. In conjunction with our return to theater-life as we know it to be (in the coming months), we hope to continue these digital gatherings as we move into the future.”
Saturday, June 20th @ 6:00pm CDT
Season Sponsors: Office of Arts and Culture – City of Dallas, Texas Instruments, International Association of Blacks in Dance, NBC 5, The Downtown Business News, The Dallas Morning News, I Messenger, NorthPark Center, TACA, American Airlines, The Shubert Foundation Inc., DART, and The Dallas Weekly.
Season Supporters: Texas Commission on the Arts, National Endowment for the Arts, Lexus, The Dallas Examiner, The Dallas Post Tribune, Elite News, OverseeMyIT, AT&T Performing Arts Center, Trendy Africa, and Arts+Culture.
ABOUT DALLAS BLACK DANCE THEATRE: Dallas Black Dance Theatre (DBDT) is an internationally recognized professional dance company that engages the cross-cultural community through contemporary modern dance presented from the African-American experience. The National Endowment for the Arts designated the 44-year-old company as an American Masterpiece Touring Artist in 2008. The company also received the Texas Medal of Arts Award for Arts Education in 2017. As Dallas’ oldest and largest professional dance company, DBDT ranks as the 10th largest minority arts organization in America and the fourth largest black dance company in the nation.