This year, the Dallas Black Dance Theatre (DBDT) is celebrating its 41st season as the oldest professional dance company in Dallas. As part of Dallas Arts Month, we are highlighting DBDT's history, achievements and upcoming events.
Since its beginnings in 1976, founder Ann Williams had a dream to create a place that would bridge the cultural gap between diverse communities through arts, dance and the spirit of entertainment. For over 40 years, that dream has become a reality with the theatre's rich history of training dancers performing both locally and internationally.
There are two performing companies within DBDT. One is the contemporary company which consists of 12 professional dancers, performing a mixed repertory of modern, ballet and jazz. The second company is DBDT: Encore! which consists of eight classically trained dancers from around the world.
In addition to the company's professionally trained dancers, the Dallas Black Dance Academy serves as the official school for DBDT and offers classes in ballet, jazz, tap and more to ages four and older.
The company has achieved great success with its dancers over the years, performing in more than 31 states and in 15 different countries on five continents, as well as in two Olympic cultural events and the 1996 Olympic Festival in Atlanta.
Additionally, some of the company's biggest accomplishments lay at its foundation. DBT is the 10th- largest minority arts organization in America and the fourth-largest black dance company in the nation. Founded by an African American woman, DBDT is a resident company member of the AT&T Performing Arts Center at the epicenter of the Dallas Arts District.
Come see a performance for yourself! The Spring Celebration will be the finale of the 41st season on May 19 at the Wyly Theatre. This performance will feature the best DBDT has to offer and will be produced by award-winning choreographer Ray Mercer and veteran DBDT dancer Claude Alexander III. Dark Circles Contemporary Dance will be the featured guest artist.