Come to the Red Hot Cabaret

Members of the Dayton Contemporary Dance Company (DCDC) perform 'Come to the Red Hot Cabaret.' Members of the Dayton Contemporary Dance Company (DCDC) perform 'Come to the Red Hot Cabaret.'

DCDC presents last local show of the season

By Caroline Shannon-Karasik

Members of the Dayton Contemporary Dance Company (DCDC) perform 'Come to the Red Hot Cabaret.'

Whoever said, “You can’t have your cake and eat it too” has apparently never made the acquaintance of Dayton Contemporary Dance Company (DCDC).
Because unlike a mother who cuts off her child’s supply of lollipops at one, the company is similar to the silly, favorite uncle who has a no-holds-barred approach to having fun. And when it comes to their upcoming performance of Come to the Red Hot Cabaret, the same rules apply. That is, the indulgences – whether it be food or stellar dance entertainment – are anything but limited.
Let’s call it the cure for the common, child-like proclamation, “I’m bored!” Instead, the company’s aim is to turn off every ounce of the ho-hum factor and keep the excitement trailing throughout the evening, making for a suitable celebration of DCDC’s “8th Annual Spring Soulstice.” The show will take place Saturday, May 14 from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. at the Dayton Convention Center.
“Guests to the Come to the Red Hot Cabaret will be escorted to an area where they will mingle with others at tables at which they may stay and have food and cocktails,” said DCDC’s Artistic Director Debbie Blunden-Diggs. “There will be three sets of dances in which DCDC dancers will perform. One dance set is to MoTown, the other to famous love songs and the third is a duet of super tap dancers.
“The premise [of the night] is that a cabaret feel is less formal, but also elegant and an opportunity for extended entertainment for DCDC’s sponsors and attendees,” said Blunden-Diggs. “It is more an interactive affair, not a formal sit-down with concert after or before.”
Blunden-Diggs said there will also be casino games and raffle items, including a dance contest judged by DCDC’s dancers. Dayton favorite, Deron Bell, will also provide music entertainment throughout the evening.
A tradition dating back to Le Chat Noir (French for “Black Cat”) in 19th century Paris, the cabaret is “a perennial form of sophisticated entertainment,” according to DCDC’s website. The company, however, included its own twists to the event, with Blunden-Diggs adding that she drew upon DCDC’s past cabaret concerts for inspiration to drive the evening. The company is hopeful these elements will make the fundraiser “more interesting than other, more conventional annual fundraisers,” she said.
“This is an interactive evening,” Blunden-Diggs said. “We have our guests mingling and enjoying fine appetizers and beverages while the dancers perform. We encourage the attendees to mingle the whole night.
“At the same time, they will have a better than front seat, up close encounter with DCDC dancers as they perform at Come to the Red Hot Cabaret. Again, the theme of being interactive.”
Choreographers for the evening will include DCDC company members William B. McClellan, Jr., Alex Edwards, Jarel D. Waters and others. Blunden-Diggs said the attire for the evening is, “fun, festive, after-five attire.”

The event comes on the heels of the company’s return from Santiago, Chile last month, where dancers performed four works, including those choreographed by Blunden-Diggs and Shonna Hickman-Matlock, artistic director of DCDC’s second company, DCDC2.

And hot off the buzz of those performances comes the upcoming evening’s excitement, leading to what Blunden-Diggs believes is a factor that audiences are sure to appreciate: A change of pace from what is to be expected at a more formal dance show.

“[It’s an] opportunity to see the dancers up close and personal, and in an environment that is different from a proscenium and concert hall,” she said.
All while munching on that piece of cake. Sounds like DCDC perfection, right?

For tickets to Come to the Red Hot Cabaret, call the DCDC box office at (937) 228-3232 x111 or visit For more information or to sponsor a table, contact Jay Peterson, director of development, at (937) 228-3232 x102 or

DCDC will make one last presentation for this 2010-2011 season, at the American Dance Festival in Durham, N.C. from June 21 through June 26. DCDC has a long history with the festival, which assembles the top dance companies in the nation to perform for one another and for presenters.

Reach DCP freelance writer Caroline Shannon-Karasik

About Caroline Shannon-Karasik

View all posts by Caroline Shannon-Karasik

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