Brain Food Aftermath

Dayton Contemporary Dance Company Aftermath

Dayton Contemporary Dance Company

The Dayton Contemporary Dance Company grooves their way into the hearts of audience members while celebrating African heritage

Sheryl Haydel | Director of Communications and Marketing 

As the third installment in the 2017-2018 Presidential Brain Food Lecture Series, the Dayton Contemporary Dance Company (DCDC) performed three pieces last night (Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2017) that left the audience riveted.

With pointed toes, legs and arms moving like ribbons, the Dayton dancers delivered high energy choreography to the near capacity crowd in Cook Theatre. Audience members swayed in their seats, clapped their hands and held their breath as the dancers moved effortlessly across the stage telling the stories of their African ancestors through dance.

"This was my first time going to a dance performance put on by professionals,” said Kyndra Tillmon, ’21, a public health student. “I liked that they included African tribal dances in the performance and the music was interesting. I truly enjoyed it and was glad that I had the opportunity to experience such a wonderful rendition of Black Church through dance."

DCDC was founded in 1968 to create performance opportunities for dancers of color. Nearly 50 years later, it remains rooted in the African American experience, committed to the development of diverse movement artists on the global stage. Artistic Director Debbie Blunden-Diggs continues the company’s long legacy with fresh new dance works by top choreographers.


The Brain Food Lecture Series is Dr. Walter Kimbrough’s approach to ensuring Dillard remains a hub of intellectual and cultural enlightenment.

“I think every year, I will have to bring in some type of dance group,” said Kimbrough, Dillard’s seventh president. “They left me feeling inspired. Plus, our campus community needs to experience this.”

Upcoming Brain Food Lectures are “Tell Them We Are Rising,” a documentary directed and produced by Stanley Nelson on Tuesday, November 14, at 7 p.m. in Georges Auditorium. Then CNN contributor Angela Rye will be the Justice Revius O. Ortique Jr. Law and Society lecturer on Thursday, November 16, at 7 p.m. Location to be announced.


Dayton Contemporary Dance

The culturally diverse company is dedicated to exceptional performance and quality community engagement. A co-recipient of one of the dance world’s highest honors, the 2016 Bessie Award for Outstanding Revival, DCDC has been supported by American Dance Festival, Paul Taylor American Modern Dance, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, National Endowment for the Arts and New England Foundation for the Arts among others.

DCDC has toured the world, dancing onstage for packed houses in Bermuda, Canada, Chile, China, France, Germany, Poland, Russia and South Korea and will represent the U.S. abroad through DanceMotion USA, a program of the U.S. State Department in spring 2018. This program is made possible by Engaging Dance Audiences, administered by Dance/USA and made possible with generous funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, the Virginia B. Tolumin Foundation, and National Endowment for the Arts.


Shed World Premier 2013, Dayton, Ohio - Shed your fears ~ Live your passion ~ Believe, and you will Become.

Shed focuses on the journey of acceptance and self-love. Shed challenges the self-imposed or culturally influenced ideology of image. The poser to love and be kind is within. Consider living in a world free of stigma. Consider breathing in an environment of tolerance. Consider thriving in a place of positive embrace. Shed inspires hope for a life lived free from judgement, in which differences are celebrated.


Wawa Aba (toughness. hardiness, perseverance) World Premier 2013, Dayton, Ohio - A friend once shared with me these words... ‘To be someone, you must last.’ Upon hearing them, I began thinking about what it takes to last... to get through... to persevere, and I wondered what it took for various generations and genders of people to make it through challenge and struggle? Was it sheer physical strength, will, and power; Was it resistance, activism, and staying in motion; Was it allowing oneself to see on some occasions and not see during others; Was it sharing joy and love with your community; Was it lyin’ in the cut, employing subtlety and introspection; or was it stomping aloud, being seen, felt, and heard? Wawa Aba offers an allusion to embodied perseverance.

In My Father’s House World Premier 1997, Dayton, Ohio - Set to four contemporary gospel tunes by Kirk Franklin and the Family, In My Father’s House brings the modern-day church experience to the stage. The built-in encore, danced to the song “When I Think About Jesus,” is so highly energized that it brings the audience to its feet, and they leave the theater dancing and singing.


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