DCDC to pay tribute to African-American church in uplifting holiday show this weekend

Expect roof-raising, joyful and testimonial praise bolstered by emotional dancing as the Dayton Contemporary Dance Company presents “In the Spirit of… Abundant Blessings” Saturday, Dec. 7 and Sunday, Dec. 8 at the Victoria Theatre.

Back by popular demand and specifically returning to the DCDC lineup for the first time in five years, this holiday concert is a tribute to the African-American church, the fundamental anchor in the lives of African-Americans for generations.

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“With this concert being the last in our 50th anniversary season, I wanted to produce something that would bring our community together in a different way and ‘In the Spirit of’ has always been that vehicle for us,” said DCDC Chief Artistic Administrator and Producing Director Debbie Blunden-Diggs. “The concert particularly brings the African-American community together. When we first produced it many years ago, I needed a vehicle to remind the African-American community that we hadn’t grown past them. We still needed and wanted their support. They are our roots, where we planted our feet. And since the beginning of time, the dynamic that brings African-Americans together is the church. So, I wanted to produce a program that was filled with liturgical dance at a really high level. The beauty of this program through the years is that the community performs with us. I’m really excited about our guests this year.”

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The concert features national gospel recording artists Shirley Murdock and Judah Band along with the “In the Spirit of” Community Choir under the music direction of Deron Bell, Jeremy Winston Chorale, Trotwood-Madison High School Choir, and the Frederick Douglass Elementary Children’s Choir. In addition to Blunden-Diggs, choreographers include DCDC administrators Crystal Michelle and Shonna Hickman-Matlock as well as company members Qarrianne Blayr (who also serves asassociate artistic director), Elizabeth Ramsey, Matthew Talley, and Countess Winfrey.

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“So many of our dancers are very gifted and talented beyond just their dance artistry,” Blunden-Diggs noted. “So, when we do programming of this nature, it gives them an opportunity to create also. The concert will be very full, exciting and embracing. I think people will feel very covered and uplifted as we go into this holiday season. It’s great to have the Dayton community come together to celebrate the holidays. It is a season for giving and sharing. Stepping into our 51st season is no small feat. If not for our dream of our founder, Jeraldyne Blunden, we would not have this wonderful legacy that lives on throughout Dayton, the nation and the globe. I’m looking forward to celebrating with you the gifts of our abundant blessings.”

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What: "In the Spirit of… Abundant Blessings"

Where: Victoria Theatre, 138 N. Main St., Dayton

When: Dec. 7-8; 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 4 p.m. Sunday

Cost: $28

Tickets: Call Ticket Center Stage at (937) 228-3630 or visit ticketcenterstage.com

More info: Facebook

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