Dayton Contemporary Dance in residency with classes, demos, performance

Publication Date

Each fall, the Theater and Dance Department’s Stephanie C. Davis Dance Residency brings in world-class companies that offer master classes, lecture-demonstrations and performances.

This year, the Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, one of the nation’s premiere African-American arts and cultural organizations, comes to Union Oct. 19-20.

The Ohio troupe will lead a mixed level master class for dance students Thursday, Oct. 19, 6-7:15 p.m., in the Henle Dance Studio. The class will be followed by a lecture-demonstration by company director Debbie Blunden-Diggs, open to all, 7:30-8:30 p.m.

A member of Dayton Contemporary Dance leaps into the air

In addition, the troupe will give a public performance at the Egg theater, Empire State Plaza Center for the Performing Arts, Albany, on Friday, Oct. 20, at 8 p.m. There will be a pre-show talk with the company at 7:15 p.m.

A limited number of tickets to the Egg performance are available for free through Oct. 19 for Union faculty, students and staff with a Union ID. Free round-trip bus transportation from campus also will be provided.

Founded in 1968, DCDC is a culturally diverse, repertory company rooted in the African-American experience. It is one of America’s first and longest thriving dance companies.

“I’m thrilled to be able to host the DCDC as a part of this residency, which is a highlight of our dance program,” said Megan Flynn, the Gustave L. Davis ’59 and Susan S. Davis Director of Dance. “It is such a wonderful opportunity for our students to take class with the company, and learn more about DCDC’s rich history directly from the dancers and artistic director.”

One of the nation’s first and longest thriving dance companies, DCDC was founded by Dayton native Jeraldyne Blunden in 1968 to create performance opportunities for dancers of color. Blunden had studied with Martha Graham, José Limón and George Balanchine, and at the American Dance Festival.

Five decades later, the troupe remains committed to the development of diverse movement artists on the global stage. DCDC has toured the world, dancing for packed houses in Bermuda, Canada, Chile, China, France, Germany, Kazakhstan and the U.S.

The Stephanie C. Davis Dance Residency is in its 15th year. It was created by a gift from Sue and Gus Davis ’59 in memory of their daughter, a modern dancer and environmental activist with a lifelong love of the performing arts.

Past companies sponsored by the Davis residency include Limón Dance, Rennie Harris Puremovement, Philadanco!, Ballet Hispánico, Collage Dance Collective, Koresh Dance Company, Kun-Yang Lin Dancers (KYL/D), Camille A. Brown Dancers, David Dorfman Dance, Rioult, RUBBERBANDance Group and Les Ballets Jazz de Montréal.

Tickets to Dayton Dance may be picked up weekdays 9 a.m.-4 p.m. at the Feigenbaum Center for Visual Arts main office. On the night of the performance, buses leave from the Nott/Seward parking lot at 6:30 p.m. and return after the show.