So Cool. So Smooth. So DCDC’s Jazz Artistically.

T hat jazz.

Those swanky dance moves.

Dancer Sheri Sparkle Williams’ arms. Abs. Energy.

Holy crap.

Anyway … where was I? Ah, yes …

I had the remarkable opportunity to see Dayton Contemporary Dance Company perform this past weekend in their season opening show, JazzArtistically.

I can’t say that I am ever surprised by the outstanding show to which the DCDC dancers set fire on stage. But I am always a bit caught off guard by the sheer quality of movement that each of the dancers bring forth to their performances.

Opening with Sets and Chasers with choreography by Kevin Ward, the dancers whipped out their various moves, in accordance to the “sets” and “chasers” (or “breaks”) by which the piece was inspired; which is a reference to how jazz musicians separate their performances. The piece was set to live music recorded in 1940 by Duke Ellington’s orchestra.

Three World Premier pieces also hit the stage: Choreographer William B. McClellan, Jr.’s The Story Unfolds which was set to classic love songs; Unfaithful and Unrested choreographed by Crystal Michelle; and A Hot Day’s Night choreographed by Marlayna Locklear.

Dancing aside, perhaps one of the most exciting elements of the show was the incorporation of live music by Dayton’s very own jazz performer, Khalid Moss, along with bassist Ed Brookshire and percussionist Fenton Sparks. The Stivers School for the Arts Jazz Orchestra was also on stage, performing with the dancers in A Hot Day’s Night.

If toes weren’t tapping by then … well, then, I can’t help ya’.

The show was also made special by several personal introductions and mentions throughout the performance, including a section at the end of Sets and Chasers where each dancer was introduced to the audience with a brief bio and, naturally, a signature dance move.

Which leads us back to Sheri “Sparkle” Williams. No, I am not obsessed.

OK, maybe a bit.

But, honestly, who wouldn’t be after hearing that this woman is embarking on her 39th season with DCDC? Yeah, you heard that right — THIRTY-NINTH SEASON. You do the math, people. We all know this fabulous dancer didn’t start bustin’ out her moves on the dance floor straight out of the womb (well, now that I think about it …).

But, seriously: The fact that she can move like that and manage to look like a woman half her age gives me reassurance for my hopes to still be looking swell when I am her age.

OK, I know she is probably sick of hearing it — “Oh, my gosh, no way! You look amazing!” — but I just have one last request:

Sheri Williams will you teach me how to be like you when I grow up?

Now you can visit DCDC on Facebook!

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About Caroline Shannon-Karasik

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