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Virtual performances allow Dallas Black Dance Theater to press on during the pandemic

DBDT will present its 11th annual "Black on Black" performance this Saturday. The virtual production will show dancers using sites around the city as their stage.

DALLAS — The coronavirus pandemic has brought on many challenges this year. However, the Dallas Black Dance Theater is finding unique ways to push through uncertain times.

"With the movement of dance, it gives you hope for the future,” said Melissa Young, Artistic Director of DBDT.

While many theaters and artistic companies are shut down to live audiences, DBDT has been using sites around the City of Dallas as its stage and providing virtual performances.

"It actually challenges us to push ourselves in new ways and portray a message that is so important to us right now,” said dancer Floyd McClean, Jr.

Young, McClean, and veteran dancer Sean Smith said the company has been busy preparing for its annual "Black On Black" performance scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 5.

Credit: DBDT/WFAA

"You’re not only getting to know the dancers, you’re also getting to know the City of Dallas,” said Smith.

DBDT is one of the first professional dance companies in the nation to take a chance in providing virtual programming at a ticketed price.

"So many other organizations have been putting an ask out for donations, which is wonderful. But, dance is a business, and we do need to continue to put forth our best effort at a high level,” said Young.

This year’s Black on Black performance will be innovative. Company members are choreographing several compelling dances. They are using their own reflections from this year as motivation.

"The pandemic has definitely brought a lot of tragedy, but it’s also forced us to be creative,” said McClean.

A dance titled "Another", choreographed by McClean, deals with the loss of a friend. Smith is presenting a dance solo "The Dummy Song" dedicated to Bill "Bojangles" Robinson. 

So far, this season, the dance company’s virtual performances have been attracting viewers from across the country and across the world. 

If you’re thinking of leaping your way toward a ticket to the Black On Black performance, the artists say the virtual show will be as interactive as their live productions have been in the past.

“Get your holiday corner in your living room ready, because we are going to be moving and grooving,” said Young.

Dallas Black Dance Theater’s Black on Black performance is this Saturday, Dec. 5, 2020 at 7 p.m. CST. To learn more about the virtual performance and tickets you can visit https://dbdt.com