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Dallas Black Dance Theatre Presents its Petit Performance Live Across the Dallas Arts District

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Dallas Black Dance Theatre Presents its Petit Performance Live Across the Dallas Arts District

Dallas Black Dance Theatre takes its virtual events to a new level presenting its Petit Performance live across the Dallas Arts District for patrons to enjoy virtually from their homes. The performance includes three works that will be performed at the Nasher Sculpture Center and Dallas Black Dance Theatre studios. This multi-faceted live performance will take place on Friday, July 10, 2020, 7:30-9:00 pm CDT.

Dallas Black Dance Theatre is among the first professional dance companies nationally and internationally to consistently present paid virtual performances as a new business model after the closing of live performances due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While others in the dance industry have been streaming their video content for free to raise donations after the pandemic began, DBDT planned a different strategy. "Recognizing early that this crisis was a new opportunity to create a paradigm shift toward resiliency, expand audiences and generate earned income, Dallas Black Dance Theatre decided early on that paid virtual performances needed to be part of our new model," said Zenetta Drew, DBDT Executive Director.

The live Petit Performance includes a trio of DBDT audience favorites. Aerial work What to Say? Notes on Echo and Narcissus choreographed by Jamal Story is a mesmerizing duet. Awassa Astrige/Ostrich by choreographer Asadata Dafora is a powerful male solo that imitates the magnificent movements of the Ostrich. Essence is a tribute to strong women choreographed by Christopher L. Huggins.

Patrons will be able to experience What to Say? Notes on Echo and Narcissus as it unfolds live from the rehearsal studio at Dallas Black Dance Theatre. Choreographed by Southern Methodist University alum and former DBDT dancer Jamal Story, the work is filled with grace and power, featuring DBDT dancers Claude Alexander III and Hana Delong. Story has been a dancer with Cher for 17 years and her dance/aerial supervisor for the past six years. Story is also the Chairman of the National Dance Committee for SAG-AFTRA.

For decades, audiences across the country have been enthralled by the male solo Awassa Astrige/Ostrich as the embodiment of the metaphor of this warrior-like bird, which has left an indelible impression on all. DBDT dancer Zion Pradier will perform the majestic work at the Nasher Sculpture Center. Asadata Dafora choreographed the work in 1932 as a dance that imitates the graceful, but powerful movements of the Ostrich. Dafora, a Sierra Leone native, was one of the first Africans to introduce African drumming music to the United States in the early 1930s.

DBDT dancer McKinley Willis takes us on a journey in tribute of strong women when she dances Essence. She will also perform the work in the Nasher Sculpture Center for this virtual performance. DBDT premiered Essence in 2005. Willis grew up taking dance lessons at Dallas Black Dance Academy and had seen Essence performed before by current DBDT: Encore! Artistic Director Nycole Ray. Choreographer Christopher L. Huggins explains, "This piece is dedicated to the women in my life like Ann Williams (DBDT Founder), who have inspired me with their strength, passion, humor, commitment and unconditional love."

Artistic Director, Melissa M. Young shares, "Creating art in this digital space has been an eye-opening experience. DBDT is constantly trying new things and learning how to push our creativity far beyond what we imagine could be possible. We want our patrons to stay connected as we continue to design unique ways to present our work with our high standards of artistic excellence."

Choreographer Jamal Story and DBDT dancers will be a part of the live virtual Petit Performance to engage with viewers and answer their questions.

Live Petit Performance Details

a??Friday, July 10, 2020 - 7:30-9:00pm CDT.


Details at

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