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Society / The Seen

Dallas Black Dance Theatre Celebrates 41 Years With a New Beginning

Final Founder’s Lunch Sets Stage for Big Event to Come

BY Caroline Hogan // 02.06.18
photography Photography Credit Niesha Lanaé Graves

What: Dallas Black Dance Theatre Final Founder’s Luncheon

Where: The Hilton Anatole Imperial Ballroom

PC Moment: Dancing, drinks and delights – The Hilton Anatole Imperial Ballroom was center stage for the 22nd, and final, Founder’s Luncheon for the 41-year-old Dallas Black Dance Theatre (DBDT). Proceeds from the afternoon benefitted the company’s community outreach and education programs, but there was more to celebrate. A trio of longtime supporters — Andy McCarthy, Herdercine Nash, and Linda Todd — was honored for their more than two-decades of service.

Also in attendance was DBDT founder Ann Williams, whose dreams of providing a space for African-American dancers became a reality in 1976. Today, Williams’ vision continues, with nearly 700 attendees at the luncheon, all toasting the company’s success. (DBDT has impressively performed on five continents, in 15 countries, and across the nation.) In addition to honoring DBDT’s top-tier patrons, a big announcement was made by executive director Zenetta Drew: the launch of a new fundraising initiative dubbed the Ann Williams Legacy Society.

The luncheon was not complete until Dallas Black Dance Theater Encore! dancer Herman Houston III floated across the stage performing the solo “A Change is Gonna Come” by choreographer Dianne Grigsby. Then, the second act: Dallas Black Dance Academy’s Allegro Performing Ensemble — young dancers who are the future of the company — performed “Mandiba,” a work dreamt up by Katricia Eaglin. With the Founder’s Luncheon taking its final bow, dance fans will anxiously await the debut of DBDT’s next fundraising event.

Who: Doug Curtis and DBDT founder Ann Williams. Don and Norma Stone. Rozene and Charley Pride. Lucy Billingsley and executive director Zenetta Drew. Luncheon honoree’s Linda Todd, Andy McCarthy, and Herdercine Nash. Clarice Tinsley, Rev. Lelious Johnson, and Kimberley Runnels. Herman Houston III performs for the audience.

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