Breaking News
More () »

New project from Dallas dance company connects history with current social justice issues

DBDT: Encore! uses dance and a 1968 Robert Kennedy speech to help illustrate the current pain people are feeling across the country.

DALLAS — A video performance by a group of Dallas dancers is gaining attention for its message. In it members of Dallas Black Dance Theater: Encore perform a piece that demonstrates a community’s pain and push toward hope after the death of someone close.

The dance is titled “The Long Wait.” Performers say the project and choreography connects history and current times.

”The long wait is another term for life,” said Madison Olandt.

Olandt and her partner Derion Loman worked as choreographers on the dance. Part of the theme is showing, through movement, how the long wait of life is death.

The choreographers laid excerpts from a speech delivered by Robert Kennedy, after the death of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., over a dance DBDT: Encore was supposed to release in April 2020. COVID-19 crippled the dance company’s plans to perform during the pandemic.

”The speech, itself, is so powerful,” said dancer Terrell Rogers.

The artists call the revamped dance relevant. They say it demonstrates the deep pain people across the country are dealing with, right now, in light of killings at the hands of police.

"I think that history is repeating itself now, to give us the opportunity to do things differently," Rogers explained.

Dancers say the job of artists is to reflect the times. For DBDT: Encore that could mean using their bodies and connection to the Black experience to share a story that inspires hope.

Dallas Black Dance Theater will continue sharing its timely work through virtual performances Saturday, June 20. 

They are launching a legacy performance series that will feature dances set to the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Organizers say the “We Shall Overcome” speech will come to life in a work titled Bodies as Site of Faith and Protest choreographed by Tommie-Waheed Evans.

The live Zoom experience will take place Saturday at 6:00 p.m. and tickets are $20. Click here to RSVP.

For more information about Dallas Black Dance Theater, you can visit DBDT.com.

More from WFAA:

Before You Leave, Check This Out