Dallas Black Dance Theatre And Broadway Dallas Partner With Dallas Independent School District For Arts Education Initiative

Dallas Black Dance Theatre will make available a virtual matinee performance of the highly acclaimed work Bodies as Site of Faith and Protest.

By: Jan. 25, 2023

Dallas Black Dance Theatre And Broadway Dallas Partner With Dallas Independent School District For Arts Education Initiative

Dallas Black Dance Theatre and Broadway Dallas are joining together for a second year to advance arts education accessibility to Dallas Independent School District students during Black History Month 2023. Between February 6-24, 2023, Dallas Black Dance Theatre will make available a virtual matinee performance of the highly acclaimed work Bodies as Site of Faith and Protest to every student and grade level in the Dallas Independent School District, which serves nearly 141,000 students. The virtual performance is made possible at no charge by Broadway Dallas in partnership with Dallas Black Dance Theatre and Dallas Independent School District.

Bodies as Site of Faith and Protest brings to life Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "We Shall Overcome" speech. Choreographer Tommie-Waheed Evans transcribed the speech into dance. The work presents a dramatic lesson on the emotional and spiritual struggle of the American Civil Rights Era. DBDT originally performed the work on stage in 2018. In 2020 during the pandemic, the dance company filmed a reimagined version as dancers turned Dallas locations into their stage. DBDT performed scenes at Dallas City Hall Plaza, St. Luke "Community" United Methodist Church, Deep Ellum, South Dallas, Klyde Warren Park, and One Arts Plaza parking lot. Dr. King's iconic words still ring true in this powerful work today.

Tommie-Waheed Evans initially choreographed the dance as a part of his college thesis, exploring how speeches from the Civil Rights Movement served as a vehicle for social change. The dancers sing "a cappella" in the work, which adds depth and another layer of complexity to their performance. Evans is the founder and artistic director of the Philadelphia-based dance company waheedworks.

This arts education initiative is in keeping with the goals of the National Endowment for the Arts to promote equal access to the arts in every community across America and provide dance, music, theater, visual arts, literary arts, and media arts education for all students. The NEA supports learning that affirms and celebrates America's rich cultural heritage and recognizes the important role of diverse arts education in engaging and empowering youth.

Dallas Black Dance Theatre is providing a 20-page guide for the teachers to use as a part of the student matinee presentation. The deadline for Dallas ISD teachers to register their classes to view the student matinee is February 17. Access to this special, on-demand performance will continue through February 24. For registration details, teachers can email dmbalarobertson@dallasisd.org.


Founded in 1976 by Ann Williams under the direction of Melissa M. Young, Dallas Black Dance Theatre's mission is to create and produce contemporary modern dance at the highest level of artistic excellence through performances and educational programs that bridge cultures and reach diverse communities. As the largest and oldest professional dance company in Dallas, DBDT is the fourth-largest Black dance company in the nation, the ninth-largest contemporary modern dance company, and ranked 40th among the nation's leading ballet companies. Located in the thriving downtown Dallas Arts District, DBDT has performed worldwide for over 4.5 million arts patrons and 2.7 million students in 32 states and 16 countries on five continents. Since the pandemic began in 2020, DBDT performances have also been viewed virtually in 34 countries. The Company has been recognized by the National Endowment for the Arts as an American Masterpiece Touring Artist (2008) and received the Texas Medal of the Arts Award for Arts Education (2017). To learn more, visit www.dbdt.com.

About Dallas Independent School District: The Dallas Independent School District is continually preparing nearly 141,000 students for college or a career. The district offers a competitive mix of innovative programs, choice programs and instructional initiatives that support the increased academic achievement and the social and emotional development of its students. To learn more, visit www.dallasisd.org.

About Broadway Dallas:

In 2022, Dallas Summer Musicals changed its name to Broadway Dallas. Since 1941, the non-profit Broadway Dallas has presented the Best of Broadway to North Texas audiences. Located in the historic Music Hall at Fair Park, Broadway Dallas promotes excellence in live musical theatre with year-round performances for diverse audiences of all ages, impacting the lives of children and families through education and community outreach programs, while enriching the cultural landscape of North Texas and the Southwest Region.

As a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, Broadway Dallas relies on a variety of funding sources to offer affordable ticket prices, preserve the beautiful historic theatre, educate young audiences and develop impactful community programs.

Broadway Dallas gratefully acknowledges the support of our season sponsors, annual fund donors and corporate partners Germania Insurance, American Airlines, Texas Instruments, The Dallas Morning News, and WFAA TV Channel 8. For more information about Broadway Dallas, visit our website at BroadwayDallas.org.


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