Dallas Black Dance Theatre (Photo by Kevin Bowens)
Zenetta Drew, Nia Franklin, Kim Noltemy (Photo by Kevin Bowens)
Andy Smith, Georgia Scaife, Paul von Wupperfeld (Photo by Kevin Bowens)
Big Swing Band (Photo by Kevin Bowens)
Ferrell Fellows (Photo by Kevin Bowens)
Frances Cade (Photo by Kevin Bowens)
Lady Diamond and the Rough Rubies (Photo by Kevin Bowens)
Mark Howard, Lena Carrera (Photo by Kevin Bowens)
Melissa Young, Kymberley & Tony Scalia (Photo by Kevin Bowens)
Nic Slette (Photo by Kevin Bowens)
Nycole Ray, Richard A. Freeman (Photo by Kevin Bowens)
Samantha Chatman (Photo by Kevin Bowens)
Sarah Haemisegger, Zenetta Drew, Anna Kern, Ann Williams (Photo by Kevin Bowens)
Boski Sharma, Angela Chapman (Photo by Kevin Bowens)
Texas Gypsies (Photo by Kevin Bowens)
The internationally renowned Dallas Black Dance Theatre has been bringing contemporary modern dance to the community for more nearly 45 years. It is the fourth largest black dance company in the nation and it has taken its mighty talent on the road to 16 countries, all in an effort to engage diverse communities and bridge cultures by way of dance as viewed through the African American experience.
The groundbreaking history of Dallas Black Dance Theatre and its reputation for bringing unparalleled repertoires to the stage is unparalleled — and this year, for the first time, DBDT presented a megawatt (and mega-fun) fundraiser to match.
Rather than opt for the traditional luncheon function — for 20 years, the company has relied on an afternoon fundraiser to fuel its endeavors — Dallas Black Dance Theatre executive director Zenetta Drew and artistic director Melissa Young opted for something drastically different: a large-scale dance party that would take over every floor of the Rem Koolhaas-designed Wyly Theatre in the heart of the Dallas Arts District.
Event chairs Angela Chapman and Boski Sharma dubbed the evening The Big Dance — and it was big, indeed, complete with a “Harlem Renaissance in the Roaring ’20s” theme. (Talk about an equation for festive party attire!)
Live music from the likes of Atlanta-based Big Swing & The Ballroom Blasters, the Texas Gypsies, La Pompe, and the Sherna Armstrong Band played live music on different floors throughout the Wyly.
Simultaneously, there were dance lessons and a competitive dance-off — and, of course, professional dancers from Dallas Black Dance Theatre performed several vignettes throughout the evening.
If one were to stand outside the Wyly that night, they would have heard a mix of music, from a live DJ spinning a mash-up of electro-swing, house music, and top hits to the live sounds of swing, jazz, and standards.
The roaming event went late — until 2 am, to be exact — and the energy was fueled by an outdoor cigar bar, a range of culinary offerings, and (naturally) plenty of cocktails. It was these spiked libations that helped give a dose of liquid courage to those more timid of dancers.
By evening’s end, rest assured, everyone inside the Wyly was on their feet, moving, grooving, and raising a toast to Dallas Black Dance Theatre.
PC Seen: DBDT founder Ann Williams; host committee members Shonn Brown, Greer Christian, Janiece Evans-Page, Laura Hagan, Stephanie Johnson, Demetra King, Clem Maddox, Gabrielle Madison, Shelia McAfee, Willow Sanchez, Georgia Scaife, Kymberley Scalia, and Eric Wright; plus guests including Sarah Haemisegger, Anna Kern, Nia Franklin, emcee Samantha Chatman, and Kim Noltemy.