Dayton Contemporary Dance Company pictured here in the season opener from October titled “Body Talk,” an intimate exploration of storytelling within the African-American experience. CONTRIBUTED
Photo: Contributing Writer
Photo: Contributing Writer

Time to dance: DCDC2 and UD present ‘About Being’

DCDC2, the Dayton Contemporary Dance Company’s pre-professional ensemble, and the University of Dayton Dance Ensemble present “About Being” Friday, March 24 and Saturday, March 25 in UD’s Kennedy Union Boll Theatre.

The collaborative concert promises a diverse program exploring various themes using the community-building framework of a story circle. Stories will be told “through memories, voices and perspectives to reflect identity and revisit the question of self-definition and its relation to the world.”

Eighteen dancers and six choreographers will be showcased among 13 flavorful segments. Video footage, music and spoken word will be featured to enhance the experience.

MORE ARTS: Stivers brings “The Addams Family” to life on stage.

“I’m really hoping the audience falls in love with the characters, the situations, the dancers, reflected in the dance,” said Amy Renee Jones, DCDC Artist-in-Residence at UD. “A lot of people will be able to relate to the different topics presented and simply connect. One topic particularly focuses on womanhood and is choreographed by (DCDC Associate Director) Crystal Michelle. Crystal asked the dancers why there are labels defining white womanhood or black womanhood. It’s a topic still prevalent in today’s society.

Choreographer Amy Renee Jones, DCDC Artist-in-Residence at the University of Dayton, spearheads DCDC2 and UD Dance Ensemble’s story circle-based production of “About Being” March 24 and 25 in UD’s Kennedy Union Boll Theatre.
Photo: Contributing Writer

“But I feel each individual will pull something from each segment to connect with whether the energy of the movement on stage or seeing the dancers talk about their personal goals and life experiences and how that translates to their movement on stage. The use of a story circle has been great. For instance, one of the three routines I choreographed is based on passion. What drives an individual? Many works also incorporate the dancers’ own movement so the concert is really all about them.”

As rehearsals progressed, Jones, who spent eight seasons dancing with DCDC and continues to perform with the troupe as a guest artist, says she continued to be impressed and inspired by the level of commitment and artistry from the dancers.

RELATED: A look at DCDC’s amazing”Vantage Points” performance.

“I have seen tremendous growth in our dancers throughout this entire process,” she said. “They are very open, very driven, with raw talent and raw energy. They are very open to creating and providing movement. They jumped at all the tasks given to them and were highly involved. Sifting through the video footage, I noticed moments when the dancers were very vulnerable but also moments of great laughter. I’ve really enjoyed working with the dancers from UD and DCDC2.”

“This is the first time our collaborative dance concert with DCDC2 and UDDE will be directed by our new full time DCDC Artist-in-Residence Amy Jones,” echoed Michelle Hayford, UD Theatre, Dance and Performance Technology Program Director.

“Amy has done tremendous work with the UD Dance Ensemble, so that our students are able to dance with pre-professionals and hold their own. The piece itself incorporates personal narratives collected through story circle events, and this combination of text with movement is particularly exciting.”

“The work in this show is pretty magnificent and different,” added DCDC Chief Executive Officer Ro Nita Hawes-Saunders. “The choreography will touch people’s lives and souls.”

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