ARTS: Dallas Black Dance Theatre visits campus

ARTS: Dallas Black Dance Theatre visits campus

By David Gomez Jr.
Published on Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Dallas Black Dance Theatre brought the creative dance blends of modern jazz and African spiritual dance to TAMIU.

“We are celebrating our 45th season and we have performed all over the world,” DBDT Artistic Director Melissa M. Young said.

For a dance school that performed for the late, first President of South Africa Nelson Mandela, the Queen Elizabeth of England and held performances in 32 states, 16 countries and on five continents, Young still believes it is more than just dance, but a human connection.

A dancer performs with the Dallas Black Dance Theatre
David Gomez Jr. | Bridge
A member of the Dallas Black Dance Theatre performs a creative blend of modern jazz and African spirtual dance in the Center for the Fine and Performing Arts theater on April 8.

“How can we bring something to a community?” Young asked. “How can we awaken their spirit and offer them something they’ve never seen before?”

This is what Young believes the DBDT is about. To inspire and provoke thought within the community. Whether at home or on the road, such as DBDT’s April 8 visit to Texas A&M International University’s Center for the Fine and Performing Arts theater.

Young said that an invitation to a city, or community, where dance is not highly appreciated, means her performers will give them quite an experience.

“And being here at TAMIU, this is our third time here, but it’s been eight years since we’ve been here,” Young said. “I remember when we were previously here, it felt like home. Everyone here on campus is so warm.

“Even in the community, I feel the sense of togetherness, and being here on campus really makes it feel like a second home.”

Founded in 1976, the Dallas Black Dance Theatre is the oldest, continuously operating professional dance company in the metropolis. The ensemble, a contemporary modern dance company, consists of many professional, full-time dancers performing a mixed variety of modern, jazz, ethnic and spiritual works by nationally and internationally known choreographers.

For Young, and the rest of the company, she says the performances, no matter whether they’re for the majesty herself or a small college campus, the dancers always want to give it their all.

“No matter where we are, we’re going to bring the best because everyone who has the opportunity to see us deserves the best,” Young said.


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