Jazz Artistically

DCDC Presents Fall Concert

By Caroline Shannon- Karasik

L to R: Sheri 'Sparkle' Williams, Alexis Britford, Nabachwa Ssensalo, Crystal Michelle, Rebecca Sparks-Vargas.

Balance. We’ve all heard it’s one of the keys to any great marriage, right? It even strikes an even flow in the workplace, and the joining of strength and tranquility can bring along the mind-body symmetry to which so many people attribute inner solitude.

For a performer, that balance comes on the stage: A violinist and his/her conductor, a theater artist and his/her dialogue with another character. And for a dancer, it’s the movement and the music, that special connection which happens when the rhythm strikes a chord within the body.

It seems dreamy and that’s because it is, but it’s not so far off, especially for the dancers of Dayton Contemporary Dance Company and their first show of the season, Jazz Artistically. The show will feature Dayton’s very own jazz performer, Khalid Moss, who will perform on stage with the dancers, along with bassist Ed Brookshire and percussionist Fenton Sparks.

“Without a doubt, for a dancer it is an ultimate experience to perform with live musicians,” said DCDC artistic director Debbie Blunden-Diggs in a press statement. “I am so grateful Khalid Moss has joined us to create this very special home fall concert, the opening of DCDC’s 2010-2011 No Boundaries season. Khalid is a very big talent and he is the right fit for our company. We cherish this opportunity, which we believe our audience will truly enjoy.”

Moss has created a new composition for the concert that will be used in conjunction with choreography created by DCDC. But the live entertainment doesn’t stop there. The concert will also feature the University of Dayton Jazz Combo under the direction of Dr. Willie Morris in addition to the Stivers School for the Arts Jazz Ensemble.

While Set and Chasers, a DCDC classic, will be featured in the show, the other three works are all DCDC world premieres. Set and Chasers, created by former DCDC artistic director Kevin Ward, is a ballet set to music created and performed by Duke Ellington’s orchestra and recorded live on November 7, 1940 at a ballroom dance in Fargo, North Dakota.

One of the new pieces, The Story Unfolds, is choreographed by DCDC dancer and resident choreographer William B. McClellan. The piece takes an up close and personal look at relationships, touching on a wide-range of emotions from bliss to frustration. The Story Unfolds is set to classic love songs by Aretha Franklin, Luther Vandross, and Richard Rodgers.

Another new work, Hot Day’s Night, is by DCDC dancer and choreographer Marlayna Locklear.

“As the intense heat of a summer’s day fades into what may appear to be a cool night, it’s only the simmering phase of restlessness . . . a hot day’s night,” Locklear said when describing her piece in a
press statement.

The third new choreographic work is Unrested and Unfaithful by DCDC’s resident choreographer Crystal Michelle. The piece takes on issues of faith and doubt that can often occur when an individual seeks spiritual assuredness or peace of mind. Michelle created the piece while Khalid Moss created the music to accompany it, again emphasizing the unique relationship that can be created when choreographer and musician have an opportunity to work side
by side.

DCDC executive director Ro Nita Hawes-Saunders says this collaboration falls directly in line with DCDC’s season theme, No Boundaries.

“It’s doing on stage what DCDC does everywhere else off the stage,” she said. “In working with Khalid Moss, the University of Dayton Jazz Combo and Stivers School for the Arts Jazz Ensemble, DCDC’s dancers have a chance to collaborate.”

Jazz Artistically will be performed Saturday, October 16 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, October 17 at 3 p.m. at Stivers School for the Arts, 1313 E. Fifth St. For ticket information, contact Qarrianne McClellan at (937) 228-3232 x 100 or visit online at www.DCDC.org

Reach DCP dance
critic Caroline Shannon-Karasik at contactus@daytoncitypaper.com

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