DBDT dancers Alyssa Harrington (left) and Claude Alexander III in the dance “Furtherance” by choreographer Kirven Douthit-Boyd.
Brian Guilliaux

The Dallas Black Dance Theatre returns to New York for its fifth season of self-produced performances on April 22–23, 2016 at the Ailey Citigroup Theater, located at 405 West 55th St., New York, NY 10019. The “Masterworks Redefined – New York” series will showcase the energetic dance artistry of the repertory dance company that is turning 40 in its 2016-2017 season. The National Endowment for the Arts designated Dallas Black Dance Theatre as an “American Masterpiece Touring Artist.”

Highlighting the New York season are four New York premieres. “Instinct 11.1” captures the essence and strength of Francesca Harper’s mother, Denise Jefferson, who was the director of The Ailey School from 1984 until her death in 2010. Harper says she felt her mother was born with a warrior spirit. Harper likes to see dancers moving with a sense of empowerment and ferocity. Ms. Harper began her career as a choreographer in Germany where she choreographed a full evening of work for the Holland Dance Festival. She was also the dance consultant for the feature film “Black Swan,” starring Natalie Portman, who went on to win an Oscar for her work. Ms. Harper has her own dance company, The Francesca Harper Project.

Princess Grace Foundation Choreography Fellowship Award recipient Bridget L. Moore created “Unearthed” which reflects the collective power of the community. The dance is set to the music of Wynton Marsalis, James Horner and Sweet Honey in the Rock, Nina Simone, and José James. She is currently a visiting professor at Sungkyunkwan University in Seoul, South Korea and was recently invited to speak at the Korean International Symposium of Arts Education. Moore earned her MFA from New York University, Tisch School of the Arts. Ms. Moore is a former dancer with Ronald K. Brown’s Evidence.

After dancing with Madonna and being dance captain for Cher’s Dressed to Kill Tour, Jamal Story sends Dallas Black Dance Theatre dancers skyward in an aerial duet featuring DBDT’s most powerful dancers. His aerial work What to Say, has a storyline revolving around the Greek myth of Echo and Narcissus. Story, a former DBDT dancer, has also danced on Broadway in “The Color Purple” and “Motown: The Musical on Broadway” serving as dance captain on both productions. Jamal sits on the board of the SAG-AFTRA New York Local as co-chair of the union’s National Dance Committee.

Furtherance, choreographed by former Alvin Ailey dancer Kirven Douthit-Boyd, takes the audience on a journey from anguish to bliss amid the backdrop of a Japanese taiko drum musical score with additional sound effects of Asian gongs and bells. Douthit-Boyd is the co-artistic director of Dance for the Center of Creative Arts in St. Louis, Missouri. He was a member of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre for 11 years.

In addition to its fifth season in New York, Dallas Black Dance Theatre has also performed at the Lincoln Center and the Kennedy Center. DBDT is known worldwide, performing on five continents and in 14 countries. DBDT II will be performing in the Fintdaz Festival in Iquique, Chile May 6-14, 2016. Over the course of its history, DBDT has performed worldwide for 3.5 million arts patrons and 2.5 million students, grades K-12, and annually serves more than 100,000 people, including more than 20,000 youth. Dallas Black Dance Theatre is a founding company of the International Association of Blacks in Dance.

Performances on Friday and Saturday April 22-23, 2016 are at 7:30 pm. General admission tickets are $27.00. For details, visit or call 214-880-0202.

About Dallas Black Dance Theatre:

Founded in 1976 by Ann Williams, the mission of Dallas Black Dance Theatre is to create and produce contemporary modern dance at its highest level of artistic excellence through performances and educational programs that bridge cultures and reach diverse communities. With an ever-expanding national and global audience, the company employs a diverse, multi-ethnic troupe of dancers performing for audiences of all ages and backgrounds.

Located in the downtown Dallas Arts District, Dallas Black Dance Theatre is a nationally recognized professional modern dance company that engages the cross-cultural community through contemporary modern dance presented from the African-American experience. Over the course of its history, DBDT has performed worldwide for 3.5 million arts patrons and 2.5 million students, grades K-12, and annually serves more than 100,000 people, including more than 20,000 youth.

Dallas Black Dance Theatre’s professional company, DBDT, consists of 12 full-time professional dancers performing a mixed repertory of modern, jazz, African and spiritual works by national and international choreographers. The company members hail from across the country, from California to Washington D.C., as well as from overseas, from British Columbia and Trinidad/Tobago. Dallas Black Dance Theatre’s second company, DBDT II, consists of eight artists from around the nation that support DBDT’s growing local and regional educational outreach.

DBDT dancers Claude Alexander III (left) and Sean J. Smith in the dance “Unearthed” by choreographer, Bridget L. Moore.
Brian Guilliaux

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